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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 21(2); 2003 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2003;21(2): 149-157.
Is the BRCA Germline Mutation a Prognostic Factor in Korean Patients with Early-onset Breast Carcinomas?
Doo Ho Choi, Min Hyuk Lee, Bruce G Haffty
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Soonchunhyang University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. dohochoi@hosp.sch.ac.kr
2Department of Surgery, Soonchunhyang University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
The purpose of this study was to determine if there were prognostic differences between BRCA related and BRCA non-related Korean patients with early-onset breast carcinomas.
Sixty women who had developed breast cancers before the age of 40, and who were treated at the Soonchunhyang University Hospital, were studied independently of their family histories. The age range was 18 to 40 with a median of 34.5 years. Lymphocyte specimens from peripheral blood were studied for the heterozygous mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 using direct sequencing methods. Immunohistochemistry was performed on the paraffin-embedded tissue blocks that were available.
Eleven deleterious mutations (18.3%, 6 in BRCA1 and 5 in BRCA2) and 7 missense mutations of unknown significance (11.7%), were found among the 60 patients. More than half of the mutation were novel, and were not reported in the database. Most of the BRCA-associated patients had no history of breast cancer. No treatment related failures were observed in the BRCA carriers, with the exception of one patientthat had experienced a new primary tumor of the contralateral breast. The seven year relapse free survival rate were 50 and 79% in the BRCA carrier and BRCA negative patients, respectively. Although the expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors were less common, and histological features more aggressive, in the BRCA associated tumors, the outcome of the patients with BRCA mutations was not poorer than that of the patients without deleterious mutations.
Despite the BRCA mutation carriers having adverse prognostic features, the recurrence rate was relatively lower than that in the BRCA non-carrying Korean patients with early-onset breast carcinomas. In addition, although the prevalence of the BRCA mutation in Korean patients was higher than that in white patients, the penetrance of the cancer seemed to be relatively low in Korean women carrying BRCA mutations. A large population based study of the BRCA mutation, with a long-term follow-up of the study patients will be required to confirm these results.
Key Words: BRCA mutation, Early-onset breast carcinoma, Prognostic factor, Korean
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