Sunday, 21 January, 2018

BRCA gene mutation 'doesn't affect breast cancer survival'

Astra Zeneca is seen on medication packages in a pharmacy in London Astra Zeneca is seen on medication packages in a pharmacy in Lond
Stacy Diaz | 13 January, 2018, 06:01

The researchers found that 12 percent of patients had a pathogenic BRCA mutation. In 2011, Domchek also led the organization of the global team of physician scientists known as BRCA-TAC, which led a charge to advance clinical testing of olaparib in cancer patients with known inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. Actually, those with a BRCA mutation had slightly higher survival rates for the first two years after diagnosis, in the case of patients with triple-negative breast cancer. "While there is now no cure for metastatic breast cancer, today's approval offers a new, targeted option that may help to delay disease progression for these patients".

Ellen R. Copson, Ph.D., from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving female patients recruited from 127 hospitals in the United Kingdom who were aged 40 years or younger at first diagnosis of invasive breast cancer.

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes play a critical role maintaining the genetic stability of cells, and produce proteins responsible for repairing damaged DNA.

Most early-stage breast cancer patients have either a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, and many of them get chemotherapy or radiation afterward to destroy any remaining abnormal cells and reduce the risk of cancer coming back.

"A breast cancer diagnosis can feel like an emergency when you are the patient", said lead study author Dr.

Professor Diana Eccles, head of cancer sciences at the University of Southampton, said: "Our study is the largest of its kind, and our findings suggest that younger women with breast cancer who have a BRCA mutation have similar survival to women who do not carry the mutation after receiving treatment". About 12 percent of women are diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life.

The FDA has approved the first treatment for breast cancer with a BRCA gene mutation. Eccles added that the results could give women "more confidence and control" when making decisions about their treatment.

An expert said women should take time to decide if surgery was for them.

Women with the gene faults are advised to have regular screening for breast cancer and some, such as Angelina Jolie, choose to have preventative surgery, such as a double mastectomy, to limit their chances of breast cancer diagnosis.

"However, our findings suggest that this surgery does not have to be immediately undertaken along with the other treatment". There was no significant difference in overall survival between patients who were BRCA positive and those who were BRCA negative at 2 years (97% vs 96.6%, respectively), 5 years (83.8% vs 85%), or 10 years (73.4% vs 70.1%; hazard ratio, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.76-1.22; P = 0.76). It means that they can take time to discuss whether radical breast surgery is the right choice for them as part of a longer-term risk-reducing strategy.