Clinical Impact of Pathogenic Variants in DNA Damage Repair Genes beyond BRCA1 and BRCA2 in Breast and Ovarian Cancer Patients

Cancers (Basel). 2022 May 13;14(10):2426. doi: 10.3390/cancers14102426.


Consensus guidelines for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer include management recommendations for pathogenic/likely pathogenic (P/LP) variants in ATM, CHEK2, PALB2, and other DNA damage repair (DDR) genes beyond BRCA1 or BRCA2. We report on clinical management decisions across three academic medical centers resulting from P/LP findings in DDR genes in breast/ovarian cancer patients. Among 2184 patients, 156 (7.1%) carried a P/LP variant in a DDR gene. Clinical follow-up information was available for 101/156 (64.7%) patients. Genetic test result-based management recommendations were made for 57.8% (n = 59) of patients and for 64.7% (n = 66) of patients' family members. Most recommendations were made for moderate-to-high risk genes and were consistent with guidelines. Sixty-six percent of patients (n = 39/59) implemented recommendations. This study suggests that P/LP variants in DDR genes beyond BRCA1 and BRCA2 can change clinical management recommendations for patients and their family members, facilitate identification of new at-risk carriers, and impact treatment decisions. Additional efforts are needed to improve the implementation rates of genetic-testing-based management recommendations for patients and their family members.

Keywords: DNA damage repair; breast cancer; clinical management; clinical utility; genetic testing; moderate-risk genes; ovarian cancer.

Grant support

This research received no external funding.