Factors that are predictive of carrying BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutations in patients with breast carcinoma are awaited widely. The genetically homogeneous Sardinian population may be useful for defining the role of such genetic alterations further through a clinical evaluation program.
One hundred two of 659 patients with breast carcinoma (15.5%) who were collected consecutively had a family history of breast carcinoma and were screened for BRCA1/2 mutations by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and DNA sequencing.
Three deleterious germline BRCA1/2 mutations were detected in 15 of 102 families (14.7%), including 13 families (86.7%) with BRCA2 mutations and 2 families (13.3%) with BRCA1 mutations. A single variant, BRCA2-8765delAG, was the most recurrent mutation in the series and was found in 12 of 102 families (11.8%) and in 18 of 657 patients (2.7%). The average age at diagnosis was significantly younger in families with BRCA1/2 mutations (48.6 yrs) compared with the age of patients who had no detectable mutation (52.9 yrs; P = 0.039). Moreover, BRCA1/2 mutations were found at a significantly higher rate in families who had at least 1 member with ovarian carcinoma or male breast carcinoma (5 of 12 families; 41.7%) than in families without such an association (10 of 90 families; 11.1%; P = 0.003).
BRCA2 mutations were approximately 6 times more prevalent than BRCA1 mutations. A diagnosis of breast carcinoma before age 50 years, ovarian carcinoma, male breast carcinoma, and 3 affected generations all were associated significantly with BRCA1/2 mutations. Although the current findings provided further support for the hypothesis that additional breast carcinoma susceptibility genes remain to be identified, such indicators of the presence of BRCA1/2 mutations may be useful in counseling patients about undergoing genetic testing. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.