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13 January 2018, 06:13 | Randall Craig
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This is also the first time any drug has been approved to treat certain patients with metastatic breast cancer who have a BRCAgene mutation.
On Thursday, research led by the University of Southampton concluded that BRCA-mutated breastcancer is no more risky or aggressive than any other form of the disease.
Having a mutated BRCA gene - as famously carried by - dramatically increases the chance a woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, from 12 per cent to 90 per cent.
But faults in these genes raise the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, and a higher proportion of women who are aged under 40 when they are diagnosed have these faulty genes compared to older patients.
It suggests that although women diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age tend to have a poorer outlook, those who have BRCA gene faults aren't less likely to survive.
The agency said its approval was based on a randomized clinical trial of more than 300 advanced breast cancer patients with BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutations.
The PARP inhibitor is now available to patients with deleterious or suspected germline BRCA-mutated (bBRCAm), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC) who have been previously treated with chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant or metastatic setting. The hope is that by blocking the fix of cancer cells, the cells will die and slow or stop tumor growth, the FDA said in a news release Friday.
A study of nearly 3,000 British women found that preventative surgery - like a double mastectomy - straight after being diagnosed with this type of breast cancer did not improve survival over 10 years.
BRCA has been dubbed the "Angelina Jolie gene", after the actress revealed she underwent surgery on learning she had an up to 87% chance of developing breast cancer. "Our findings suggest that this surgery does not have to be immediately undertaken along with the other treatment".
'Decisions about timing of additional surgery to reduce future cancer risks should take into account patient prognosis after their first cancer, and their personal preferences'. Overall, 96 percent of the 678 deaths were due to breast cancer after a median follow-up of 8.2 years. Most had chemotherapy, half has what's called breast-conserving surgery instead of a complete mastectomy, the other half had a full mastectomy and a very few did not have any surgery. A person's cancer risk can vary a lot depending on which mutation they have. It means that they can take time to discuss whether radical breast surgery is the right choice for them as part of a longer-term risk-reducing strategy.
Eccles, MD, University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom, and colleagues looked at survival following treatment for the initial breast cancer diagnosed only.
"It can be hard for some patients to decide whether or not to have risk-reducing surgery, typically double mastectomies and removal of ovaries".
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