BRCA germline mutation test for all woman with ovarian cancer?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Delivering widespread BRCA testing to patients with ovarian cancer has been suggested by several scientists, recommended by professional societies and solicited by patients organizations. However, based on the lack of studies clearly demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of such approach compared to standard practice, we evaluated the possibility to better select subgroups of ovarian cancer (OC) patients with higher probability to be a BRCA mutation carrier'. Methods: We analyzed the database of 2222 germline BRCA analyses from OC patients recently published by Song et al. (Song 2014) by applying multivariate and conditional inference regression tree-analyses. Results: Overall, 178/2192 (8.1%) evaluable OC women showed pathogenic germline mutations in BRCA genes (84 BRCA1;94 BRCA2). BRCA mutations resulted significantly more frequent in Epithelial tumors (10.7%), less differentiated tumours (11.0%) and younger subjects (13.4%). Regression tree analysis permitted to individualize a subset of 66% OC patients with particularly low risk (3.5%) to carry a BRCA mutation vs a subgroup (24% of the series), with a probability higher than 17% to carry a pathogenic mutation. Younger age, OC and Breast Cancer family history were confirmed powerful factors in selecting subgroups of patients with significantly different BRCA mutation probability. Conclusions: Our regression tree-analysis can represent an innovative approach taking into consideration all main clinical pathological information to select OC patients to be candidated for BRCA test.

Original languageEnglish
Article number641
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 28 2019


  • BRCA
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Test criteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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