Breast cancer in BRCA mutation carriers: Medical treatment

Andrea Milani, Elena Geuna, Giorgia Zucchini, Caterina Aversa, Rossella Martinello, Filippo Montemurro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


About 10% of breast cancers are associated with the inheritance of autosomal dominant breast cancer susceptibility alleles BRCA1 and BRCA2. Until recently, the medical management of BRCA mutation-associated breast cancer has not differed from that of the sporadic breast cancer counterpart. However, there is mounting evidence that this molecular alteration confers sensitivity or resistance to systemic therapies that can be exploited in terms of medical management. For example, studies support the use of platinum salts chemotherapy in BRCA mutated cancers. Moreover, a number of targeted therapies are showing activity in BRCA mutation carriers. Above all, BRCA defective tumor cells are particularly sensitive to Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. This review will summarize the state of the art of the medical treatment of breast cancer in BRCA mutation carriers, with a particular focus on chemotherapies and targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-565
Number of pages9
JournalMinerva Ginecologica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016


  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Drug therapy
  • Genes
  • Molecular targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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