Breast Conserving Surgery for BRCA Mutation Carriers-A Systematic Review

Clin Breast Cancer. 2020 Jun;20(3):e244-e250. doi: 10.1016/j.clbc.2019.07.014. Epub 2019 Aug 22.


Similar to mastectomy, breast conserving surgery (BCS) is currently the reference standard of surgical treatment of sporadic breast cancer in patients. However, its oncologic safety for BRCA mutation carriers has remained controversial. Thus, we conducted a systematic review to critically evaluate the best evidence from reported studies. A comprehensive search was performed of the Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases using a predefined strategy. The retrieved studies were independently screened and rated for relevance. Data were extracted for qualitative synthesis in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses protocol for systematic reviews. No randomized controlled trial has directly compared BCS and mastectomy for BRCA mutation carriers. Of the 18 studies included in our review, the pooled analysis of overall survival at 5, 10, and 15 years were comparable between BCS and mastectomy (88.7%, 89.0% and 83.6% with BCS and 83%, 86.0%, and 83.2% with mastectomy, respectively). However, the pooled ipsilateral breast cancer recurrence rates at 5, 10, and 15 years were higher in the BCS group (8.2%, 15.5%, and 23%, respectively) than in the mastectomy group (3.4%, 4.9%, and 6.4%, respectively). BCS was associated with a greater rate of ipsilateral breast cancer recurrence in BRCA mutation carriers. However, it was not associated with adverse short- and long-term survival outcomes. BCS should be offered as an option to BRCA mutation carriers with proper preoperative counseling.

Keywords: Breast neoplasms; Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome; Mastectomy; Segmental mastectomy; Survival.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics*
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy, Segmental / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control
  • Patient Preference
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA1 protein, human
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • BRCA2 protein, human