Characteristics and spectrum of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in 3,922 Korean patients with breast and ovarian cancer

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Aug;134(3):1315-26. doi: 10.1007/s10549-012-2159-5. Epub 2012 Jul 14.


This investigation is aimed at evaluating the epidemiologic characteristics of BRCA1/2 germline mutations in Korean patients with breast and ovarian cancer (BOC). We analyzed the entire mutational data of BRCA1/2 genes in BOC patients who were tested in Korea since the first Korean report of BRCA1 mutation in 1995 with the exception of the data covered in the Korean Hereditary Breast Cancer (KOHBRA) study, the project launched in 2007 for establishing BRCA1/2 carrier cohorts in Korea. In total, BRCA1/2 gene mutations of 3,922 Korean BOC patients were evaluated, including the unpublished data of 2,139 breast cancer patients examined by four Korean institutions and the data of 1,783 BOC patients covered in ten previous reports. Overall, 420 (150 distinct) pathogenic mutations were identified, 211 (73 distinct) in BRCA1 and 209 (77 distinct) in BRCA2. The majority (134 of 150) of the distinct mutations resulted in premature termination codon of the BRCA1/2 translation. BRCA1 c.4186-1593_4676-1465del was the only large genomic rearrangements mutation. Out of 150 distinct BRCA1/2 mutations, 84 (56 %) mutations were considered specific to Korean BOC. Eighty-five BRCA1/2 mutations were detected in at least two unrelated patients. These recurrent mutations account for 84.5 % (355 of 420) of mutations detected in the Korean population. In the pooled mutational data of BRCA1/2 genes, this study discovered the prevalence of BRCA1/2 mutations in the Korean BOC patients is similar to those found in other ethnic groups. Large genomic rearrangements in BRCA1/2 genes were infrequently detected among the Korean patients with BOC. There were several BRCA1/2 mutation candidates for founder mutations. To further establish a Korean cohort for BRCA1/2 mutations, the nationwide KOHBRA study is in progress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology