Six important updates for BRCA mutation carriers

An estimated 750,000 American women harbor an inherited BRCA mutation, which elevates their risk for developing breast and ovarian cancers.

HemOnc Today recaps six key developments from the past 2 months related to the screening and treatment of women with BRCA mutations.

  • Age at diagnosis predicted risk for contralateral breast cancer in BRCA carriers, according to a study conducted in the Netherlands. Read more
  • The presence of germline and somatic gene mutations, including those in the BRCA gene, significantly prolonged PFS and OS in women with advanced ovarian cancer who underwent treatment with bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech) plus standard chemotherapy. Read more
  • Women with BRCA mutations who undergo prophylactic oophorectomy are underscreened for bone mineral density, even though they are at risk for bone loss. Read more
  • A new center at University of California, San Francisco, is designed to provide comprehensive and integrated care for patients with BRCA-related cancers. HemOnc Today spoke with center co-director Pamela N. Munster, MD, about what the center will offer patients and their families. Read more
  • Prophylactic mastectomy offered a modest survival gain at an acceptable cost increase over annual screening for BRCA–positive women diagnosed with ovarian cancer before age 60 years. Read more
  • Most young women with breast cancer appear to undergo genetic testing for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Read more