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J Clin Oncol. 2002 Jan 15;20(2):463-6.

Effect of BRCA mutations on the length of survival in epithelial ovarian tumors.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology, Haemek Medical Center, Afula.



To study the role of BRCA mutations in ovarian cancer survival.


Blood samples and specimens of ovarian tumors (whenever blood samples were not available) at the time of the primary surgery were obtained in the course of a nationwide case-control study of women with ovarian cancer in Israel. The three common BRCA mutations in Israel (185delAG, 5382insC, and 6174delT) were analyzed with a multiplex polymerase chain reaction to amplify the exons containing the three mutations using fluor-labeled primers in a single reaction. Because each mutation is a small insertion or deletion, they can be detected as length polymorphisms. Patients were followed for up to 5 years (range, 20 to 64 months). Statistical analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test. Stepwise Cox regression analysis was used for determination of independent prognostic factors.


This report is based on 896 blood or tumor specimens analyzed for the presence of the BRCA mutations. Of these, 234 women (26.1%) were found to be positive. A significant difference in survival pattern was found between BRCA1/BRCA2 carriers and noncarriers among the women with invasive ovarian cancer (median survival, 53.4 months v. 37.8 months; 3-year survival, 65.8% v. 51.9%, respectively). These differences were independent of age at diagnosis or stage of the disease.


Our data indicate that the survival of patients with ovarian cancer is affected by BRCA germline mutation, at least in the early years after diagnosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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