Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Breast cancer survival 'unaffected' by presence of faulty gene

Breast cancer survival 'unaffected' by presence of faulty gene

'We are delighted that the FDA has approved olaparib for advanced breast cancer in women who have inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, ' said Professor Andrew Tutt, director of the Breast Cancer Now Research Cancer in the United Kingdom, which played a pivotal role in developing the drug. Of the total sample, 558 women (20%) had triple-negative breast cancer.

However, the researchers noted the results might not translate to older women with a BRCA mutation, as they were not involved in the study and more research would be needed in this area.

Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK's head information nurse, said: 'Although BRCA faults increase the risk of young women developing cancer, their outlook once diagnosed is no worse than that for young women with breast cancer who don't carry the BRCA gene faults'.

It is estimated that approximately 252,710 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 40,610 will die of the disease, according to the FDA.

Twelve percent of the women had a BRCA mutation. The FDA also expanded the approval of Myriad's BRCAnalysis CDx, a companion diagnostic to olaparib, to include the detection of BRCA mutations.

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Women with the gene faults are advised to have regular screening for breast cancer and some, such as Angelina Jolie, choose to have preventative surgery, such as a double mastectomy, to limit their chances of breast cancer diagnosis.

The researchers say that these findings could give women "more confidence and control" when making decisions about their treatment.

During the course of the study, out of the 2,733 women, there were 678 deaths, including 651 deaths from breast cancer, 18 from other cancers, and nine from other causes.

Sally Simmonds explains went to meet one woman who's chose to have a double mastectomy following support form Cancer Research UK.

On Friday, after decades of research and development, the Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved AstraZeneca PLC's Lynparza for patients with BRCA gene mutations who have undergone chemotherapy.

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The study found that there was no difference in overall survival two, five or 10 years after diagnosis for women with and without a BRCA mutation.

About a third of those included in the study with the BRCA mutation had a double mastectomy to remove both breasts after being diagnosed with cancer. "Understanding prognosis in young patients is important because patients with BRCA mutations are at increased risk of developing specific conditions, such as secondary cancers, including ovarian cancer, contralateral breast cancer, and de novo breast cancer in the same breast".

She added: "In view of this, younger women with breast cancer can take time to discuss whether radical breast surgery is the right choice for them as part of a longer-term risk reducing strategy".

The results were the same whether mutations were in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, according to the study published January 11 in The Lancet Oncology.

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