Multiple gene sequencing for risk assessment in patients with early-onset or familial breast cancer

Oncotarget. 2016 Feb 16;7(7):8310-20. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.7027.


Since BRCA mutations are only responsible for 10-20% of cases of breast cancer in patients with early-onset or a family history and since next-generation sequencing technology allows the simultaneous sequencing of a large number of target genes, testing for multiple cancer-predisposing genes is now being considered, but its significance in clinical practice remains unclear. We then developed a sequencing panel containing 68 genes that had cancer risk association for patients with early-onset or familial breast cancer. A total of 133 patients were enrolled and 30 (22.6%) were found to carry germline deleterious mutations, 9 in BRCA1, 11 in BRCA2, 2 in RAD50, 2 in TP53 and one each in ATM, BRIP1, FANCI, MSH2, MUTYH, and RAD51C. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) was associated with the highest mutation rate (45.5%, p = 0.025). Seven of the 9 BRCA1 mutations and the single FANCI mutation were in the TNBC group; 9 of the 11 BRCA2, 1 of the 2 RAD50 as well as BRIP1, MSH2, MUTYH, and RAD51C mutations were in the hormone receptor (HR)(+)Her2(-) group, and the other RAD50, ATM, and TP53 mutations were in the HR(+)Her2(+) group. Mutation carriers were considered as high-risk to develop malignancy and advised to receive cancer screening. Screening protocols of non-BRCA genes were based on their biologic functions; for example, patients carrying RAD51C mutation received a screening protocol similar to that for BRCA, since BRCA and RAD51C are both involved in homologous recombination. In conclusion, we consider that multiple gene sequencing in cancer risk assessment is clinically valuable.

Keywords: BRCA; genetic counseling; hereditary breast cancer; multiple gene sequencing; variant of uncertain significance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / classification
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Germ-Line Mutation / genetics*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Assessment*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA, Messenger

Supplementary concepts

  • Breast Cancer, Familial