Journal Article
. 2018 Jan; 19(2):169-180.
doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(17)30891-4.

Germline BRCA mutation and outcome in young-onset breast cancer (POSH): a prospective cohort study

Ellen R Copson 1 Tom C Maishman 2 Will J Tapper 3 Ramsey I Cutress 1 Stephanie Greville-Heygate 4 Douglas G Altman 5 Bryony Eccles 1 Sue Gerty 2 Lorraine T Durcan 2 Louise Jones 6 D Gareth Evans 7 Alastair M Thompson 8 Paul Pharoah 9 Douglas F Easton 9 Alison M Dunning 9 Andrew Hanby 10 Sunil Lakhani 11 Ros Eeles 12 Fiona J Gilbert 13 Hisham Hamed 14 Shirley Hodgson 15 Peter Simmonds 16 Louise Stanton 2 Diana M Eccles 17 
  • PMID: 29337092
  •     29 References
  •     74 citations


Background: Retrospective studies provide conflicting interpretations of the effect of inherited genetic factors on the prognosis of patients with breast cancer. The primary aim of this study was to determine the effect of a germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation on breast cancer outcomes in patients with young-onset breast cancer.

Methods: We did a prospective cohort study of female patients recruited from 127 hospitals in the UK aged 40 years or younger at first diagnosis (by histological confirmation) of invasive breast cancer. Patients with a previous invasive malignancy (except non-melanomatous skin cancer) were excluded. Patients were identified within 12 months of initial diagnosis. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations were identified using blood DNA collected at recruitment. Clinicopathological data, and data regarding treatment and long-term outcomes, including date and site of disease recurrence, were collected from routine medical records at 6 months, 12 months, and then annually until death or loss to follow-up. The primary outcome was overall survival for all BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers (BRCA-positive) versus all non-carriers (BRCA-negative) at 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years after diagnosis. A prespecified subgroup analysis of overall survival was done in patients with triple-negative breast cancer. Recruitment was completed in 2008, and long-term follow-up is continuing.

Findings: Between Jan 24, 2000, and Jan 24, 2008, we recruited 2733 women. Genotyping detected a pathogenic BRCA mutation in 338 (12%) patients (201 with BRCA1, 137 with BRCA2). After a median follow-up of 8·2 years (IQR 6·0-9·9), 651 (96%) of 678 deaths were due to breast cancer. There was no significant difference in overall survival between BRCA-positive and BRCA-negative patients in multivariable analyses at any timepoint (at 2 years: 97·0% [95% CI 94·5-98·4] vs 96·6% [95·8-97·3]; at 5 years: 83·8% [79·3-87·5] vs 85·0% [83·5-86·4]; at 10 years: 73·4% [67·4-78·5] vs 70·1% [67·7-72·3]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·96 [95% CI 0·76-1·22]; p=0·76). Of 558 patients with triple-negative breast cancer, BRCA mutation carriers had better overall survival than non-carriers at 2 years (95% [95% CI 89-97] vs 91% [88-94]; HR 0·59 [95% CI 0·35-0·99]; p=0·047) but not 5 years (81% [73-87] vs 74% [70-78]; HR 1·13 [0·70-1·84]; p=0·62) or 10 years (72% [62-80] vs 69% [63-74]; HR 2·12 [0·82-5·49]; p= 0·12).

Interpretation: Patients with young-onset breast cancer who carry a BRCA mutation have similar survival as non-carriers. However, BRCA mutation carriers with triple-negative breast cancer might have a survival advantage during the first few years after diagnosis compared with non-carriers. Decisions about timing of additional surgery aimed at reducing future second primary-cancer risks should take into account patient prognosis associated with the first malignancy and patient preferences.

Funding: Cancer Research UK, the UK National Cancer Research Network, the Wessex Cancer Trust, Breast Cancer Now, and the PPP Healthcare Medical Trust Grant.

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Front Cell Dev Biol, 2021 Mar 02; 9. PMID: 33644055    Free PMC article.
A clinical calculator to predict disease outcomes in women with triple-negative breast cancer.
Mei-Yin C Polley, Roberto A Leon-Ferre, +17 authors, Matthew P Goetz.
Breast Cancer Res Treat, 2021 Jan 04; 185(3). PMID: 33389409    Free PMC article.
Recent Advances in Integrative Multi-Omics Research in Breast and Ovarian Cancer.
Christen A Khella, Gaurav A Mehta, Rushabh N Mehta, Michael L Gatza.
J Pers Med, 2021 Mar 07; 11(2). PMID: 33669749    Free PMC article.
Clinical and Pathological Characteristics of Patients with High-Risk Breast Cancer Based on BRCA Mutation Profiles: A Retrospective Study.
Muhammed Mustafa Atcı, Çağlayan Geredeli, +9 authors, Mahmut Gümüş.
Eur J Breast Health, 2021 Apr 20; 17(2). PMID: 33870111    Free PMC article.
A Review of Modifiable Risk Factors in Young Women for the Prevention of Breast Cancer.
Alex A Daly, Rachel Rolph, Ramsey I Cutress, Ellen R Copson.
Breast Cancer (Dove Med Press), 2021 Apr 23; 13. PMID: 33883932    Free PMC article.
Introducing a low-risk breast screening pathway into the NHS Breast Screening Programme: Views from healthcare professionals who are delivering risk-stratified screening.
Victoria G Woof, Lorna McWilliams, +4 authors, David P French.
Womens Health (Lond), 2021 Apr 21; 17. PMID: 33877937    Free PMC article.
Breast Cancer Adjuvant Radiotherapy in BRCA1/2, TP53, ATM Genes Mutations: Are There Solved Issues?
Grazia Lazzari, Giuseppe Buono, Benedetto Zannino, Giovanni Silvano.
Breast Cancer (Dove Med Press), 2021 May 21; 13. PMID: 34012291    Free PMC article.
Triple-negative breast cancer: promising prognostic biomarkers currently in development.
Jasmine Sukumar, Kelly Gast, +2 authors, Nicole Williams.
Expert Rev Anticancer Ther, 2020 Nov 18; 21(2). PMID: 33198517    Free PMC article.
Breast-Gynaecological & Immuno-Oncology International Cancer Conference (BGICC) Consensus and Recommendations for the Management of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.
Hesham Elghazaly, Hope S Rugo, +36 authors, Hagar Elghazawy.
Cancers (Basel), 2021 Jun 03; 13(9). PMID: 34066769    Free PMC article.
Mesothelioma: Scientific clues for prevention, diagnosis, and therapy.
Michele Carbone, Prasad S Adusumilli, +19 authors, Harvey I Pass.
CA Cancer J Clin, 2019 Jul 10; 69(5). PMID: 31283845    Free PMC article.
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