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Two Studies Address Risk Reduction & Screening For BRCA 1/2 Gene Mutation Carriers

Posted by Paul Cacciatore on February 26, 2009

“Prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy – removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes–reduces the relative risk of breast cancer by approximately 50 percent and the risk of ovarian and fallopian tube cancer by approximately 80 percent in women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, researchers report in the January 13 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute …. Women at high risk of ovarian cancer due to a genetic predisposition may opt for either surveillance or prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (pBSO).  Main objective of our study was to determine the effectiveness of ovarian cancer screening in women with a BRCA1/2 mutation.  At this time,’ Dr. de Bock and colleagues advise, “prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy from age 35-40 for BRCA1 carriers and from age 40-45 for BRCA2 carriers is the only effective strategy, as it reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by 96% and may also protect against breast cancer with a risk reduction up to 53% when performed in premenopausal women.’ They add, ‘For women who still want to opt for screening, a more effective screening strategy needs to be designed.’”

Meta-analysis Confirms Value of Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy
for Women with BRCA Mutations

Prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy – removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes–reduces the relative risk of breast cancer by approximately 50 percent and the risk of ovarian and fallopian tube cancer by approximately 80 percent in women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, researchers report in the January 13 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .  Previous studies have shown substantial reduction in the risks of breast and ovarian or fallopian tube cancers in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers following salpingo-oophorectomy. However, the magnitude of the benefit has been unclear.

To establish a more reliable estimate of the magnitude of the benefit, Timothy Rebbeck, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed the pooled results of 10 published studies.  They found that risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy was associated with a 79 percent relative reduction in ovarian and fallopian tube cancer risk and a 51 percent relative reduction in breast cancer risk in women who carried mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 . When the researchers analyzed the effect of the prophylactic surgery on BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers separately, they found a similar benefit for the two groups in terms of breast cancer risk, with a 53 percent risk reduction for each group. The groups were too small to be examined independently for gynecologic cancer risk. ‘In conclusion, the summary risk reduction estimates presented here confirm that BRCA1/2 mutation carriers who have been treated with [risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy] have a substantially reduced risk of both breast and ovarian cancer,’ the authors write. ‘However, residual cancer risk remains after surgery. Therefore, additional cancer risk reduction and screening strategies are required to maximally reduce cancer incidence and mortality in this high-risk population.’

In an accompanying editorial, Mark H. Greene, M.D., and Phuong L. Mai, M.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., commend Rebbeck and colleagues ‘ effort and review the steps the study authors took to develop the most precise estimates of risk reduction following prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy. The results ‘should benefit women who are trying to decide whether or not to undergo [risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy],’ the editorialists write. ‘We urge providers of cancer genetics counseling services to adopt the summary risk estimates developed by Rebbeck et al. as those most currently reliable when counseling BRCA mutation carriers.’

Contacts:
Article: Holly Auer, Holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu ; 215-349-5659
Editorial: NCI Press Officers, ncipressofficers@mail.nih.gov ; 301-496-6641

Citations:
Article: Rebbeck T, et al. Meta-analysis of Risk Reduction Estimates Associated with Risk Reducing Salpingo-
Oophorectomy in BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutation Carriers
. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009;101: 80 – 87 .
Editorial: Greene M and Mai PL. What Have We Learned from Risk-Reducing Salpingo-oophorectomy? J Natl
Cancer Inst
2009;101: 7 – 71 .”

Quoted SourceMEMO TO THE MEDIA -Meta-analysis Confirms Value of Risk-Reducing Salpingo-oophorectomy for Women with BRCA Mutations, JNCI  2009 101(2):69 (online Jan. 13, 2009).

Time to stop ovarian cancer screening in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers?

“Women at high risk of ovarian cancer due to a genetic predisposition may opt for either surveillance or prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (pBSO).  Main objective of our study was to determine the effectiveness of ovarian cancer screening in women with a BRCA1/2 mutation.

We evaluated 241 consecutive women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation who were enrolled in the surveillance program for hereditary ovarian cancer from September 1995 until May 2006 at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), The Netherlands. The ovarian cancer screening included annual pelvic examination, transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) and serum CA125 measurement. To evaluate the effectiveness of screening in diagnosing (early stage) ovarian cancer sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV) of pelvic examination, TVU and CA125 were calculated.

Three ovarian cancers were detected during the surveillance period; 1 prevalent cancer, 1 interval cancer and 1 screen-detected cancer, all in an advanced stage (FIGO stage IIIc).  A PPV of 20% was achieved for pelvic examination, 33% for TVU and 6% for CA125 estimation alone. The NPV were 99.4% for pelvic examination, 99.5% for TVU and 99.4% for CA125. All detected ovarian cancers were in an advanced stage, and sensitivities and positive predictive values of the screening modalities are low. Restricting the analyses to incident contacts that contained all 3 screening modalities did not substantially change the outcomes. Annual gynecological screening of women with a BRCA1/2 mutation to prevent advanced stage ovarian cancer is not effective.”

CitationTime to stop ovarian cancer screening in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers?, van der Velde NM, Mourits, MJ,  Arts HJ, et. al.; Int J Cancer 2008;Vol 124: Issue 4: 919-923.

Comment: “At this time,’ Dr. de Bock and colleagues advise, “prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy from age 35-40 for BRCA1 carriers and from age 40-45 for BRCA2 carriers is the only effective strategy, as it reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by 96% and may also protect against breast cancer with a risk reduction up to 53% when performed in premenopausal women.’ They add, ‘For women who still want to opt for screening, a more effective screening strategy needs to be designed.’” [SourceAnnual Screening for Ovarian Cancer in BRCA1/2 Carriers Deemed Ineffective, News Article, Cancerpage.com, Feb. 23, 2009.]

Posted in Early Detection, Genetics, Medical Study Results, Ovarian Cancer Risk, Prevention | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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