Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Breast cancer caused by genetic mutation gets first approved treatment

New thinking on BRCA treatment Breast cancer survival not affected by faulty BRCA genes
Johnnie Parks | 13 January, 2018, 06:16

"No other study has followed a group of patients from diagnosis over a long period of time to discover if carrying a high-risk inherited BRCA gene alters the likelihood of being cured of breast cancer", said lead researcher Professor Diana Eccles from the University of Southampton.

The research, led by the University of Southampton, concludes that BRCA-mutated breast cancer is no more unsafe or aggressive than any other form of the disease. "For the portion of the 155,000 women in the United States living with metastatic breast cancer who have an inherited BRCA mutation, today's news is encouraging".

"This class of drugs has been used to treat advanced, BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer and has now shown efficacy in treating certain types of BRCA-mutated breast cancer", said Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence. This is compared to approximately 12.5 per cent of women in the general population who develop breast cancer in the UK.

"In light of their findings the authors suggest that women with triple-negative breast cancer and a BRCA mutation who choose to delay additional surgery for 1-2 years to recover from their initial treatment should be reassured that this is unlikely to affect their long-term survival", the statement said. The FDA also expanded the approval of Myriad's BRCAnalysis CDx, a companion diagnostic to olaparib, to include the detection of BRCA mutations in blood samples from patients with breast cancer. Among the 558 patients with triple-negative breast cancer, overall survival was better for BRCA mutation carriers than noncarriers at two years (95 versus 91 percent; hazard ratio, 0.59) but not at five or 10 years.

BRCA2 - Mutations prevent DNA from repairing itself properly, leading to breast cancer.

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Twelve percent of patients had either a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

Angelina Jolie made headlines when she underwent preventative surgery after learning she had an up to 87% chance of developing breast cancer.

USA regulators have approved the first drug aimed at women with advanced breast cancer caused by an inherited flawed gene. A person's cancer risk can vary a lot depending on which mutation they have.

"It can be hard for some patients to decide whether or not to have risk-reducing surgery, typically double mastectomies and removal of ovaries". Affects one in 800 women, up to 70 per cent increased risk. The Basser Center was the first comprehensive BRCA-focused center of its kind with research initiatives ranging from the basic biology of BRCA-related cancers to communication of BRCA test results within families. In the longer term, risk-reducing surgery should be discussed as an option for BRCA1 mutation carriers in particular, to minimize their future risk of developing a new breast or ovarian cancer.

Katherine Woods of the Breast Cancer Now charity said: 'Coming somewhat as a surprise, this crucial new knowledge could enable many patients to make even more informed choices regarding their treatment.

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