Favourable ten-year overall survival in a Caucasian population with high probability of hereditary breast cancer

Laura Cortesi, Cristina Masini, Claudia Cirilli, Veronica Medici, Isabella Marchi, Giovanna Cavazzini, Giuseppe Pasini, Daniela Turchetti, Massimo Federico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The purpose of our study was to compare differences in the prognosis of breast cancer (BC) patients at high (H) risk or intermediate slightly (IS) increased risk based on family history and those without a family history of BC, and to evaluate whether ten-year overall survival can be considered a good indicator of BRCA1 gene mutation.Methods: We classified 5923 breast cancer patients registered between 1988 and 2006 at the Department of Oncology and Haematology in Modena, Italy, into one of three different risk categories according to Modena criteria. One thousand eleven patients at H and IS increased risk were tested for BRCA1/2 mutations. The overall survival (OS) and disease free survival (DFS) were the study end-points.Results: Eighty BRCA1 carriers were identified. A statistically significantly better prognosis was observed for patients belonging to the H risk category with respect to women in the IS and sporadic groups (82% vs.75% vs.73%, respectively; p <0.0001). Comparing only BRCA1 carriers with BRCA-negative and sporadic BC (77% vs.77% vs.73%, respectively; p <0.001) an advantage in OS was seen.Conclusions: Patients belonging to a population with a high probability of being BRCA1 carriers had a better prognosis than those with sporadic BC. Considering these results, women who previously had BC and had survived ten years could be selected for BRCA1 analysis among family members at high risk of hereditary BC during genetic counselling. Since only 30% of patients with a high probability of having hereditary BC have BRCA1 mutations, selecting women with a long term survival among this population could increase the rate of positive analyses, avoiding the use of expensive tests.

Original languageEnglish
Article number90
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Mar 10 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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