A genetic mutation linked to better survival rates in women who suffer from a common type of ovarian cancer has been identified by researchers. The research appearing in the January 25 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed the mutations were found in six percent to 15 percent of women with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).
Kelly Bolton of the National Cancer Institute, in Bethesda, Maryland and colleagues found that five-year overall survival was 36 percent for noncarriers of the gene mutations.
That compared to a 44 percent survival rate for mutations in the BRCA1 gene, and 52 percent in the BRCA2 gene, the research showed.
"BRCA1 carriers had a more favorable survival than noncarriers, which improved slightly after additional adjustment for stage, grade, histology, and age at diagnosis. BRCA2 carriers had a greater survival advantage compared with noncarriers, particularly after adjusting for other prognostic factors," the study found.
The study carried out a pooled analysis of 26 observational studies on ovarian cancer survival rates.
"Our study results have potentially important implications for the clinical management of patients with EOC. Most immediately, our findings can be used by health care professionals for patient counseling regarding expected survival," the authors said.