Inherited Breast Cancer in Nigerian Women

J Clin Oncol. 2018 Oct 1;36(28):2820-2825. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2018.78.3977. Epub 2018 Aug 21.


Purpose: Among Nigerian women, breast cancer is diagnosed at later stages, is more frequently triple-negative disease, and is far more frequently fatal than in Europe or the United States. We evaluated the contribution of an inherited predisposition to breast cancer in this population.

Patients and methods: Cases were 1,136 women with invasive breast cancer (mean age at diagnosis, 47.5 ± 11.5 years) ascertained in Ibadan, Nigeria. Patients were selected regardless of age at diagnosis, family history, or prior genetic testing. Controls were 997 women without cancer (mean age at interview, 47.0 ± 12.4 years) from the same communities. BROCA panel sequencing was used to identify loss-of-function mutations in known and candidate breast cancer genes.

Results: Of 577 patients with information on tumor stage, 86.1% (497) were diagnosed at stage III (241) or IV (256). Of 290 patients with information on tumor hormone receptor status and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, 45.9% (133) had triple-negative breast cancer. Among all cases, 14.7% (167 of 1,136) carried a loss-of-function mutation in a breast cancer gene: 7.0% in BRCA1, 4.1% in BRCA2, 1.0% in PALB2, 0.4% in TP53, and 2.1% in any of 10 other genes. Odds ratios were 23.4 (95% CI, 7.4 to 73.9) for BRCA1 and 10.3 (95% CI, 3.7 to 28.5) for BRCA2. Risks were also significantly associated with PALB2 (11 cases, zero controls; P = .002) and TP53 (five cases, zero controls; P = .036). Compared with other patients, BRCA1 mutation carriers were younger ( P < .001) and more likely to have triple-negative breast cancer ( P = .028).

Conclusion: Among Nigerian women, one in eight cases of invasive breast cancer is a result of inherited mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, or TP53, and breast cancer risks associated with these genes are extremely high. Given limited resources, prevention and early detection services should be especially focused on these highest-risk women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Nigeria / epidemiology

Supplementary concepts

  • Breast Cancer, Familial