Molecular characteristics of Asian male BRCA-related cancers

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2023 Apr;198(2):391-400. doi: 10.1007/s10549-022-06651-y. Epub 2023 Jan 13.


Purpose: Germline mutations of BRCA1 or BRCA2 predispose men to develop various cancers, including breast cancers and prostate cancers. Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease while prostate cancer (PRC) is uncommon in young men at the age of less than 40. The prevalence of BRCA genes in Asian male patients has to be elevated.

Methods: Germline mutations screening was performed in 98 high-risk Chinese MBC and PRC patients.

Result: We have identified 16 pathogenic BRCA2 mutation carriers, 12 were MBC patients, 2 were PRC patients and 2 were patients with both MBC and PRC. The mutation percentages were 18.8%, 6.7% and 50% for MBC, PRC and both MBC and PRC patients, respectively. BRCA2 gene mutations confer a significantly higher risk of breast/prostate cancers in men than those with BRCA1 mutations. BRCA mutated MBC patients had a younger age of diagnosis and strong family histories of breast cancers while BRCA mutated PRC patients had strong family histories of ovarian cancers.

Conclusion: Male BRCA carriers with breast cancers or prostate cancers showed distinct clinical and molecular characteristics, a male-specific genetic screening model would be useful to identify male cancer patients who have a high risk of BRCA mutation.

Keywords: Asian; BRCA; Male breast cancers; Prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male* / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male* / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male* / pathology
  • Genes, BRCA2
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / genetics


  • BRCA2 Protein
  • BRCA1 Protein