Inherited mutations in the recently discovered BRCA2 gene are believed to be responsible for a significant fraction of early-onset hereditary breast cancers. Unlike BRCA1, however, which confers a high risk to both breast and ovarian cancer, the incidence of ovarian cancer appears to be much lower in BRCA2-linked families, causing uncertainty as to the relevance of BRCA2 to hereditary ovarian cancer. Numerous allelotype studies indicate that allelic deletions including the BRCA2 locus on chromosome 13q are common in ovarian cancers in general, suggesting that somatic mutations of this gene may be involved in sporadic ovarian tumorigenesis. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that germline or somatic mutations or BRCA2 are associated with hereditary and/or sporadic ovarian cancers, respectively. The entire 10.2-kb coding region of BRCA2 was screened for mutations in 130 consecutive ovarian tumors, the only selection criterion being a pathological diagnosis of epithelial ovarian carcinoma. Loss of heterozygosity at markers flanking BRCA2 was observed in 56% of the tumors. Four germline mutations and two somatic mutations were identified; two of the germline mutations are recurrent, having been previously described. Remarkably, the patients with germline mutations were late-onset cases with no medical or family histories suggestive of hereditary cancer. These data suggest that mutations of BRCA2 are rare in sporadic ovarian cancers, and that the proportion of ovarian cancers resulting from hereditary predisposition may be higher than previously suspected based on estimates derived from studies of highly penetrant genetic loci.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Jun 15 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research