Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

First treatment approved for breast cancer with BRCA genetic mutation

First treatment approved for breast cancer with BRCA genetic mutation

"In light of their findings the authors suggest that women with triple-negative breast cancer and a BRCA mutation who choose to delay additional surgery for one-two years to recover from their initial treatment should be reassured that this is unlikely to affect their long-term survival", the statement said.

Located within Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, The Basser Research Center for BRCA focuses exclusively on BRCA1 and BRCA2.

The researchers found that 12 percent of patients had a pathogenic BRCA mutation.

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".

The study involved 2,733 British women aged 18-40 who had been diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2008.

On Thursday, research led by the University of Southampton concluded that BRCA-mutated breast cancer is no more risky or aggressive than any other form of the disease.

University of Pennsylvania oncologist Susan Domchek, a BRCA researcher who co-led the study behind the expanded approval, said it is also a significant advance for BRCA patients with an ultra-aggressive form of breast cancer known as "triple-negative."

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

BRCA has been dubbed the "Angelina Jolie gene", after the actress revealed she underwent surgery on learning she had an up to 87% chance of developing breast cancer. The primary outcome was overall survival for all BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations carriers compared with all non-carriers at 2, 5, and 10 years post-diagnosis.

While it put women at an increased risk of developing breast cancer, the faulty gene did not mean they were less likely to survive.

A study of nearly 3,000 British women found that preventative surgery - like a double mastectomy - straight after being diagnosed with this type of breast cancer did not improve survival over 10 years.

The findings come amid a slew of research in recent months into the gene, which could make BRCA-related cancer more manageable, and treatment or preventative measures less invasive.

The team tracked the women's medical records for an average period of just over eight years and found that 651 of 678 total deaths were due to breast cancer.

This surgery did not appear to improve their chances of survival at the 10-year mark.

The BRCA test consists of a simple blood sample, with risks and benefits to be considered.

She added: "In view of this, younger women with breast cancer can take time to discuss whether radical breast surgery is the right choice for them as part of a longer-term risk reducing strategy".

Like this: