An important role of genetic factors in the development of breast cancer (BC) or ovarian cancer (OC) in Taiwanese (ethnic Chinese) patients has been suggested. However, other than germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, which are related to hereditary breast-ovarian cancer (HBOC), cancer-predisposition genes have not been well studied in this population. The aim of the present study was to more accurately summarize the prevalence of genetic mutations in HBOC patients using various gene panels ranging in size from BRCA1/2 alone to multi-gene panels. Among 272 HBOC patients analyzed, the prevalence of BRCA1, BRCA2 and non-BRCA1/2 pathogenic mutations was 7.7% (21/272), 6.8% (16/236) and 8.2% (13/159), respectively. The total mutation rate was 18.4% (50/272). Although no founder mutations were identified in this study, two recurrent mutations, BRCA1 (c.3607C>T) and BRCA2 (c.5164_5165 delAG), were found. The main pathogenic/likely pathogenic mutations in non-BRCA1/2 genes included ATM, BRIP1, FANCI, MSH2, MUYTH, RAD50, RAD51C and TP53. The prevalence rate of gene mutations in HBOC patients did not differ with respect to whether BC or OC was the first diagnosis or they presented a family history of the disease or their age at diagnosis. HBOC patients with both BC and OC exhibited a higher prevalence rate of mutations (50.0%) than patients with OC (25.0%) or BC (8.6%) alone. In conclusion, evaluation of hereditary cancer risk in Taiwan HBOC patients, particularly individuals with double cancer, is strongly encouraged. Panel testing can yield additional genomic information, and widespread and well-designed panel testing will help in assessing more accurate mutational prevalence of risk genes.
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