Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy in women at higher risk of ovarian and breast cancer: A single institution prospective series

Enzo Ricciardi, Federica Tomao, Giovanni Aletti, Luca Bazzurini, Luca Bocciolone, Sara Boveri, Fabio Landoni, Maria Teresa Lapresa, Matteo Maruccio, Gabriella Parma, Fedro Peccatori, Maria Cristina Petrella, Vanna Zanagnolo, Nicoletta Colombo, Angelo Maggioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background/Aim: Occult cancers' reported rates vary from 2-12% and serous tubal intraepithelial carcinomas (STICs) have been identified in 3-12% of the prophylactically removed tubes of women carrying a BRCA mutation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of tubal minor epithelial atypia (STIL), STIC, and occult invasive cancer and to evaluate the cancer-specific mortality in a prospective series of women at higher risk of ovarian and breast cancer undergoing risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) n a tertiary cancer center. Patients and Methods: A series of RRSO specimens (including endometrial biopsy) from women carrying a BRCA mutation, BRCA-unknown and BRCA-negative were collected between January 1998 and April 2016 at the Division of Gynecology at the European Institute of Oncology. Inclusion criteria were: asymptomatic women who had a negative gynecologic screening within 3 months prior to RRSO. Exclusion criteria were: women with ovarian/tubal cancer prior to RRSO. Results: A total of 411 women underwent RRSO. Median age at RRSO was 47.0 years (range=32-70 years); 75.2% had a history of breast cancer. Fifteen women were diagnosed with an occult cancer (7 STIC, 4 invasive cancers, 2 breast cancers metastatic to the adnexa, 2 endometrial cancer) (3.6%). Sixteen showed a STIL (3.9%). When excluding cases with preoperative positive markers, the occult invasive cancer rate drops to 1.5%. Conclusion: Our study, covering an 18-year period, shows a substantial low risk of occult cancer among a high-risk population of women undergoing RRSO. Our data still support the indication for RRSO in higherrisk patients. An endometrial biopsy should also be routinely obtained as it raises the chances of detecting occult endometrial cancers that may be otherwise missed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5241-5248
Number of pages8
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2017



  • BRCA genes
  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy
  • STIC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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