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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jan;119(1):13-24. doi: 10.1007/s10549-009-0566-z.

Prognosis of BRCA-associated breast cancer: a summary of evidence.

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  • 1Juravinski Cancer Centre, Department of Oncology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.


The purpose of the study is to review the clinical studies relevant to the prognosis and prognostic associations of BRCA1- and BRCA2-associated breast cancers. Reports of relevant studies obtained from a MEDLINE search and references from these articles were critically reviewed. A number of methodologic limitations have been identified in the early studies. More recent studies have failed to demonstrate, for the most part, a significant overall survival difference between BRCA-associated breast cancers and sporadic breast cancers. The risk of in-breast tumor recurrence also appears to be similar in the first 5 years following a breast cancer diagnosis with apparent increase in the risk after 5 years in one study. Many in-breast tumor recurrences are now considered to be second primary breast cancers. There is a significant increase in the risk of contralateral breast cancers in BRCA mutation carriers with an estimated 10-year risk ranging from 20-40%. The prognosis of BRCA-associated breast cancers appears to be similar to that of sporadic breast cancers based on the current literature. Future data from large prospective cohort studies will be of interest.

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