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Gynecol Oncol. 2000 Dec;79(3):477-81.

Is uterine papillary serous adenocarcinoma a manifestation of the hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome?

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  • 1Centre for Research in Women's Health, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Science Centre, 790 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1N8, Canada.



Uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC) shares common pathologic, genetic, and clinical features with other serous cancers of müllerian origin. The most common histologic type of ovarian tumor associated with BRCA mutations is papillary serous. Because of these histologic similarities, we postulated that, in some cases, UPSC may be a manifestation of a field defect in BRCA1 carriers, which also includes ovarian carcinoma, fallopian tube carcinoma, and primary peritoneal carcinoma.


Fifty-six living patients with UPSC were contacted through their treating physicians and agreed to a family history interview and to provide a blood specimen for BRCA testing. The protein truncation test was used to detect mutations in exons 10 and 11 of BRCA1 and in exon 11 of BRCA2. The presence of four common mutations was assessed by PCR-based specific assays.


A high proportion of patients had a past history of breast cancer (11%) or a first-degree relative with breast cancer (29%). Four patients were from families with site-specific hereditary breast cancer. However, there was no clear example of the hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome, and none of the 56 patients was found to carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.


BRCA mutations do not appear to predispose to UPSC and this type of cancer does not appear to be a manifestation of the classical hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome. The observed association between UPSC and breast cancer may be due to the presence of mutations in other cancer predisposing genes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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