Tamoxifen is a selective estrogen receptor modulator that is used to treat and to prevent breast cancer; however, its use is associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Tamoxifen is metabolized by various cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, but predominantly by CYP3A4. In this study, we examined whether a genetic variant of the CYP3A4 gene, CYP3A4*1B, influences endometrial cancer risk--alone and when associated with tamoxifen exposure. We conducted a case-control study on 566 endometrial cancer cases and 964 ethnically matched controls. The variant CYP3A4 allele was present in 6% of the controls and 9% of the endometrial cancer patients (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1-2.3, P = 0.02). The allele was more common in women with endometrial cancer who had been treated with tamoxifen for breast cancer (16%). Women who carried the CYP3A4*1B allele had approximately 3-fold increase in the risk of developing endometrial cancer following tamoxifen treatment, compared with women who did not take tamoxifen (P = 0.004). These findings suggest that a subgroup of breast cancer patients who carry the CYP3A4*1B allele and take tamoxifen may be at increased risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Recently, a G84E mutation in HOXB13, a gene involved in prostate development, was shown to be strongly associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. To confirm this association in a screening setting, we conducted a case-control study and sequenced germline DNA from peripheral leukocytes of 1843 men diagnosed with prostate cancer (case subjects) and 2225 men without prostate cancer (control subjects) for mutations in HOXB13. Subjects (aged 40-94 years) were prescreened and underwent a prostate biopsy at two tertiary care centers in Canada. The frequency of HOXB13 variants was determined in case subjects and control subjects by race, and odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were based on 2×2 table analysis. All statistical tests were two-sided. Twelve men of white race were identified to be carriers of the G84E mutation. The G84E mutation was more frequent among white case subjects than among white control subjects (10 of 1525 [0.7%] vs 2 of 1757 [0.1%], P = .01) and was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer (unadjusted odds ratio = 5.8, 95% confidence interval = 1.3 to 26.5, P = .01).
Germline mutations in the BRCA1 (MIM 113705) and BRCA2 (MIM 600185) genes have been identified for breast and ovarian cancer families of diverse ethnic backgrounds. To date, there have been no reports of Native North American families with mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2. Here we report two families of aboriginal descent both with the same BRCA1 alterations (1510insG, 1506A>G). The families represent two aboriginal Canadian tribes (Cree and Ojibwe), although a common ancestral origin is likely. This is the first evidence of a BRCA1 mutation specific to aboriginal peoples of North America.
Specific BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations recur in French Canadian breast and/or ovarian cancer families because of common ancestors, facilitating carrier detection in this population. We recently reported a BRCA2 c.9004G>A variant of unknown clinical significance in two French Canadian breast cancer families. It confers a E3002K alteration in the conserved C-terminus domain of BRCA2, and has been reported in non-French Canadian cancer families. Seven variant positive French Canadian families have since been identified by mutation screening of referrals to hereditary cancer clinics. In this article, we describe the cancer phenotypes of these families and further assess the contribution of this variant in the French Canadian population. We screened index breast cancer cases from 58 cancer families with at least three confirmed cases of breast and/or ovarian cancer and 960 breast cancer cases (48 years mean age) not selected for family history of cancer that were previously found not to carry the most common BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations reported in this population. The index variant-positive cases from each family had breast cancer between the ages of 35-55 years (43 years mean age); and reported close relatives with breast cancer diagnoses between the ages of 28-84 years (57 years mean age). Three families had ovarian or peritoneal cancers. BRCA2-associated cancers, such as bladder, esophagus, pancreas, prostate, and thyroid cancers also occurred in these families. One c.9004G>A carrier also harbored the PALB2 c.2323C>T (Q775X) mutation found to recur in French Canadian breast cancer cases. No new BRCA2 variant carriers were identified in mutation screens. The absence of BRCA2 c.9004G>A carriers in the breast cancer cases not selected for family history contrasts with familial cases, supporting a pathogenic status for this variant and addition to the existing common BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation-screening panel for French Canadian breast and/or ovarian cancer families.
Erratum In: Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Jan;131(1):341
Prophylactic bilateral mastectomy is a preventive option for women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer. We compared the perceptions of breast cancer risk among women who had previously undergone prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with objective estimates of their breast cancer risk.
We asked 75 women in the Canadian province of Ontario who had undergone prophylactic bilateral mastectomy between 1991 and 2000 to provide a complete family history of the cancers that had occurred by the time of their surgery and to indicate their BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation status. This information was used to generate estimates of each woman's risk for breast cancer by using the Gail model, the Claus model, and the BRCAPRO model. Sixty of the women also provided their own estimates of their lifetime risks of developing breast cancer before and after they had prophylactic mastectomy. Risk estimates were compared using Wilcoxon's signed-rank test and Pearson's product-moment correlation analysis. All statistical tests were two-sided.
The women estimated that their lifetime risk of developing breast cancer before surgery was, on average, 76% (range = 20%-100%) and after surgery was 11.4% (range = 0%-60%). The mean estimated absolute risk reduction the women attributed to prophylactic mastectomy was 64.8%. The average computer-generated risk estimates were 59% for the 14 women who reported that they carried a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation and 17% for the other women (of whom 43 had a strong family history of breast cancer and 18 had a limited family history). Breast cancer risk was statistically significantly overestimated by all women except for the known BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation carriers.
Women who undergo prophylactic bilateral mastectomy have an exaggerated perception of their breast cancer risk before surgery. Formal genetic counseling and genetic testing may result in more accurate risk perceptions to guide women in choosing other preventive options.
Genes that metabolize the rate of clearance of environmental carcinogens may be candidate genes for cancer susceptibility. There is some data to suggest that exposure to environmental pesticides and other organochlorine pollutants is a risk factor to breast cancer. It is therefore reasonable to ask if variants in the genes responsible for the metabolic activation of organochlorines are associated with different tissue burdens of organochlorines and if these variants modify the risk of breast cancer in the population. We conducted a case-control study of women who underwent an excision biopsy for suspected breast cancer in a Toronto hospital from 1995 to 1997. Patients are residents of the Greater Toronto Area and are primarily Caucasian of European descent. Cases were women with invasive breast cancer (n = 70) and controls (n = 69) were women diagnosed with benign disease, frequency matched by age to cases. Levels of organochlorines were measured in benign breast tissue and seven polymorphisms in five candidate genes were genotyped. In general, women who carried inactive alleles of the GSTM1 had higher levels of breast organochlorines, and were at modestly increased risk of breast cancer (odds ratio = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.1-4.4). However, multiple comparisons were made and generally our data do not support the hypothesis that organochlorines increase the risk of breast cancer among subgroups of women with specific metabolic genotypes.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a non-invasive breast cancer, is usually treated by breast-conserving surgery (BCS). Randomized trials prove that the addition of radiotherapy (XRT) leads to lower rates of recurrence. Despite the evidence, half of women do not receive XRT after BCS. It is unknown how well clinicians identify women with low risk DCIS for treatment by BCS alone or to what extent women with DCIS develop recurrent cancer due to the omission of radiotherapy. We report the outcomes of a population of women with DCIS treated with BCS, alone or with radiotherapy, and evaluate the effectiveness of each therapeutic approach. All women diagnosed with DCIS and treated with BCS, alone or with radiotherapy in Ontario from 1994 to 2003 were identified. Treatments and outcomes were validated by chart review. Survival analyses were used to study the development of local recurrence (LR) in relation to patient and tumor characteristics and the use of radiotherapy. The cohort included 3,762 women treated with breast-conserving therapy; 1,895 of whom (50 %) also received radiation. At 10 years median follow-up, LR developed in 233 (12 %) women who received radiotherapy and in 363 (19 %) of women who did not (p
Women who carry a pathogenic mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 have high risks of developing breast and ovarian cancers. The functional effect of many missense variants on BRCA1 and BRCA2 protein function is not known. Here, the authors construct a historical cohort of 4030 female first-degree relatives of 1345 unselected patients with ovarian cancer who have been screened for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. The authors compared the risks by the age of 80 years for all cancers combined in female first-degree relatives of women with a pathogenic mutation, women with a variant of unknown significance (unclassified variant) and non-carriers. The cumulative risk of cancer among the relatives of patients with a pathogenic mutation was much higher than the risk in relatives of non-carriers (50.2% vs 28.5%; HR=2.87, p
To compare the survival rates of women with BRCA associated breast cancer who did and did not undergo mastectomy of the contralateral breast.
12 cancer genetics clinics.
390 women with a family history of stage I or II breast cancer who were carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and initially treated with unilateral or bilateral mastectomy. 181 patients had mastectomy of the contralateral breast. Patients were followed for up to 20 years from diagnosis.
Death from breast cancer.
79 women died of breast cancer in the follow-up period (18 in the bilateral mastectomy group and 61 in the unilateral mastectomy group). The median follow-up time was 14.3 years (range 0.1-20.0 years). At 20 years the survival rate for women who had mastectomy of the contralateral breast was 88% (95% confidence interval 83% to 93%) and for those who did not was 66% (59% to 73%). In a multivariable analysis, controlling for age at diagnosis, year of diagnosis, treatment, and other prognostic features, contralateral mastectomy was associated with a 48% reduction in death from breast cancer (hazard ratio 0.52, 95% confidence interval 0.29 to 0.93; P=0.03). In a propensity score adjusted analysis of 79 matched pairs, the association was not significant (0.60, 0.34 to 1.06; P=0.08). Based on these results, we predict that of 100 women treated with contralateral mastectomy, 87 will be alive at 20 years compared with 66 of 100 women treated with unilateral mastectomy.
This study suggests that women who are positive for BRCA mutations and who are treated for stage I or II breast cancer with bilateral mastectomy are less likely to die from breast cancer than women who are treated with unilateral mastectomy. Given the small number of events in this cohort, further research is required to confirm these findings.
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The heritable fraction of ovarian cancer exceeds that of any other common adult cancer. Most inherited cases of ovarian cancer are due to a germline mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. It is important to have an accurate estimate of the proportion of ovarian cancer patients who carry a mutation and the specific factors which predict the presence of a mutation.
We tested a population-based series of 1342 unselected patients diagnosed with invasive ovarian cancer between 1995-1999 and 2002-2004 in Ontario, Canada, for germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. The two genes were tested in their entirety, using a range of techniques, including multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA).
Among the 1342 women, 176 women carried a mutation (107 in BRCA1, 67 in BRCA2, and two in both genes) for a combined mutation frequency of 13.3%. Seven deletions were identified using MLPA (3.9% of all detected mutations). The prevalence of mutations was particularly high among women diagnosed in their forties (24.0%), in women with serous ovarian cancer (18.0%) and women of Italian (43.5%), Jewish (30.0%) or Indo-Pakistani origin (29.4%). A mutation was seen in 33.9% of women with a first-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer and in 7.9% of women with no first-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer. No mutation was seen in women with mucinous carcinoma.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are common in women with invasive ovarian cancer. All women diagnosed with invasive non-mucinous ovarian cancer should be considered to be candidates for genetic testing.