Health Discoveries in Ovarian Cancer

Genes show differences in ovarian cancer survival

April 13, 2011
Ovarian cancer survival rates are considerably higher for patients who have one type of gene mutation rather than another, according to research presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Those ovarian cancer patients who have the BRCA2 gene mutation showed five-year survival rates of 61 percent, compared to 46 percent survival rates for those who carry the BRCA1 gene mutation. In addition, patients with ovarian cancer who have neither gene mutation were shown to have a five-year survival rate of 36 percent.

More than 3,500 cases of ovarian cancer were analyzed for the study.

"There was some previous evidence that women with ovarian cancer who have mutations in the BRCA genes show improved survival compared to non-mutation carriers. Our study clearly shows that this survival difference is real. We also provide the first solid evidence that BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations don't have the same impact on ovarian cancer survival," said Kelly Bolton, a fellow at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, has a Division of Gynecological Oncology that treats women with ovarian cancer, which represents 5 percent of all cancers in women. The hospital is part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
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