Outcomes of incidentally detected ovarian cancers diagnosed at time of risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy in BRCA mutation carriers

Gynecol Oncol. 2021 May;161(2):521-526. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.02.006. Epub 2021 Mar 10.


Objective: Prior data suggested that women with incidentally detected occult invasive ovarian cancer (OIOC) at the time of risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) for BRCA mutation may have poorer prognoses than would be expected based on disease stage. We sought to evaluate prevalence and outcomes of patients with OIOC in a tertiary referral center.

Methods: Patients with BRCA mutation undergoing RRSO from 01/2005 to 05/2017 were identified, and their records reviewed. Women with incidentally detected OIOC were included; those with clinical features raising preoperative suspicion for malignancy were excluded.

Results: 548 patients with BRCA mutation who underwent RRSO were identified. 26 (4.7%) had an OIOC (median age 55 years; range 42-75); 15(58%) patients, BRCA1; 9(34%), BRCA2; 2(8%) had a mutation in both genes. All OIOCs were high-grade serous: 10 (38%) Stage I; 8 (31%) Stage II; 8(31%) Stage III. 24(92%) patients received adjuvant platinum/taxane therapy. Of Stage III patients, 4 (50%) were identified intraoperatively; the remaining 4 (50%) had microscopic nodal disease on final pathology only. At median follow-up of 67.3 months (28-166) no Stage I patients have recurred; 2 Stage II and 6 Stage III patients recurred. 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 72% (95%CI, 50.2-85.7%); median PFS for the cohort was 129 months (95%CI, 75.3-not estimable). 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) was 96% (95%CI, 76-99%); median DSS not reached.

Conclusion: Consistent with prior reports, almost 5% of patients had an OIOC at RRSO. The majority with early-stage disease had excellent PFS and DSS outcomes, as would be expected based on disease stage.

Keywords: BRCA; Occult ovarian cancer; Risk-reducing surgery.