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No Lasting Survival Benefit With BRCA in Ovarian Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients with invasive ovarian cancer carrying BRCA1/2 mutations have a short-term survival advantage compared with noncarriers, the advantage is short-lived and is no longer observed at 10 years post-diagnosis, according to a study published in the Jan. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

To assess the impact of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations on long-term survival in invasive ovarian cancer, John R. McLaughlin, Ph.D., of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues followed a cohort of 1,626 unselected women for a mean of 6.9 years. Mutations were identified in 218 women.

In the three-year period after diagnosis, the researchers found that prognosis was significantly improved in the presence of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.68), but there was no difference in prognosis at 10 years after diagnosis (hazard ratio, 1.00; P = 0.90). Among women with serous ovarian cancers who were alive at 12 years after diagnosis, 27.4 percent had BRCA1 mutations, 27.7 percent had BRCA2 mutations, and 27.1 percent were not carriers.

"Our data indicate that the short-term survival benefit of carrying a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation is not reflected in long-term differences in the proportions of women who ultimately survive their ovarian cancer," the authors write.

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