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      Prophylactic Oophorectomy in Carriers ofBRCA1orBRCA2Mutations

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          Abstract

          Data concerning the efficacy of bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy for reducing the risk of gynecologic cancer in women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations are limited. We investigated whether this procedure reduces the risk of cancers of the coelomic epithelium and breast in women who carry such mutations. A total of 551 women with disease-associated germ-line BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations were identified from registries and studied for the occurrence of ovarian and breast cancer. We determined the incidence of ovarian cancer in 259 women who had undergone bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy and in 292 matched controls who had not undergone the procedure. In a subgroup of 241 women with no history of breast cancer or prophylactic mastectomy, the incidence of breast cancer was determined in 99 women who had undergone bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy and in 142 matched controls. The length of postoperative follow-up for both groups was at least eight years. Six women who underwent prophylactic oophorectomy (2.3 percent) received a diagnosis of stage I ovarian cancer at the time of the procedure; two women (0.8 percent) received a diagnosis of papillary serous peritoneal carcinoma 3.8 and 8.6 years after bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy. Among the controls, 58 women (19.9 percent) received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, after a mean follow-up of 8.8 years. With the exclusion of the six women whose cancer was diagnosed at surgery, prophylactic oophorectomy significantly reduced the risk of coelomic epithelial cancer (hazard ratio, 0.04; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.01 to 0.16). Of 99 women who underwent bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy and who were studied to determine the risk of breast cancer, breast cancer developed in 21 (21.2 percent), as compared with 60 (42.3 percent) in the control group (hazard ratio, 0.47; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.29 to 0.77). Bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy reduces the risk of coelomic epithelial cancer and breast cancer in women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.

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          Most cited references15

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          The risk of cancer associated with specific mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 among Ashkenazi Jews.

          Carriers of germ-line mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 from families at high risk for cancer have been estimated to have an 85 percent risk of breast cancer. Since the combined frequency of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations exceeds 2 percent among Ashkenazi Jews, we were able to estimate the risk of cancer in a large group of Jewish men and women from the Washington, D.C., area. We collected blood samples from 5318 Jewish subjects who had filled out epidemiologic questionnaires. Carriers of the 185delAG and 5382insC mutations in BRCA1 and the 6174delT mutation in BRCA2 were identified with assays based on the polymerase chain reaction. We estimated the risks of breast and other cancers by comparing the cancer histories of relatives of carriers of the mutations and noncarriers. One hundred twenty carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation were identified. By the age of 70, the estimated risk of breast cancer among carriers was 56 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 40 to 73 percent); of ovarian cancer, 16 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 6 to 28 percent); and of prostate cancer, 16 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 4 to 30 percent). There were no significant differences in the risk of breast cancer between carriers of BRCA1 mutations and carriers of BRCA2 mutations, and the incidence of colon cancer among the relatives of carriers was not elevated. Over 2 percent of Ashkenazi Jews carry mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 that confer increased risks of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer. The risks of breast cancer may be overestimated, but they fall well below previous estimates based on subjects from high-risk families.
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            Menopause and the risk of coronary heart disease in women.

            To determine the relation of menopause to the risk of coronary heart disease, we analyzed data on a prospective cohort of 121,700 U.S. women 30 to 55 years old who were followed from 1976 to 1982. Information on menopausal status, the type of menopause, and other risk factors was obtained in 1976 and updated every two years by mailing questionnaires. Through 1982, the follow-up rate was 98.3 percent for mortality and 95.4 percent for nonfatal events. After we controlled for age and cigarette smoking, women who had had a natural menopause and who had never taken replacement estrogen had no appreciable increase in the risk of coronary heart disease, as compared with premenopausal women (adjusted rate ratio, 1.2; 95 percent confidence limits, 0.8 and 1.8). Again compared with premenopausal women, the occurrence of a natural menopause together with the use of estrogens did not affect the risk (rate ratio, 0.8, 95 percent confidence limits, 0.4 and 1.3). Women who had undergone bilateral oophorectomy and who had never taken estrogens after menopause had an increased risk (rate ratio, 2.2; 95 percent confidence limits, 1.2 and 4.2). However, the use of estrogens in the postmenopausal period appeared to eliminate this increased risk among these women as compared with premenopausal women (rate ratio, 0.9; 95 percent confidence limits, 0.6 and 1.6). These data suggest that, in contrast to a natural menopause, bilateral oophorectomy increases the risk of coronary heart disease. This increase appears to be prevented by estrogen-replacement therapy.
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              Breast cancer risk after bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy in BRCA1 mutation carriers.

              The availability of genetic testing for inherited mutations in the BRCA1 gene provides potentially valuable information to women at high risk of breast or ovarian cancer; however, carriers of BRCA1 mutations have few clinical management options to reduce their cancer risk. Decreases in ovarian hormone exposure following bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy (i.e., surgical removal of the ovaries) may alter cancer risk in BRCA1 mutation carriers. This study was undertaken to evaluate whether bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy is associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk in BRCA1 mutation carriers. We studied a cohort of women with disease-associated germline BRCA1 mutations who were assembled from five North American centers. Surgery subjects (n = 43) included women with BRCA1 mutations who underwent bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy but had no history of breast or ovarian cancer and had not had a prophylactic mastectomy. Control subjects included women with BRCA1 mutations who had no history of oophorectomy and no history of breast or ovarian cancer (n = 79). Control subjects were matched to the surgery subjects according to center and year of birth. We found a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer risk after bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy, with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 0.53 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.33-0.84). This risk reduction was even greater in women who were followed 5-10 (HR = 0. 28; 95% CI = 0.08-0.94) or at least 10 (HR = 0.33; 95% CI = 0.12-0.91) years after surgery. Use of hormone replacement therapy did not negate the reduction in breast cancer risk after surgery. Bilateral prophylactic oophorectomy is associated with a reduced breast cancer risk in women who carry a BRCA1 mutation. The likely mechanism is reduction of ovarian hormone exposure. These findings have implications for the management of breast cancer risk in women who carry BRCA1 mutations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                May 23 2002
                May 23 2002
                : 346
                : 21
                : 1616-1622
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa012158
                12023993
                9369c066-f1e5-4b00-86d0-cc6d40db0bd8
                © 2002
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