(HealthDay News) — Although patients with invasive ovarian cancer carrying BRCA1/2 mutations have a short-term survival advantage compared with noncarriers, the advantage is short-lived and is no longer observed at 10 years post-diagnosis, according to a study published in the Jan. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

To assess the impact of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations on long-term survival in invasive ovarian cancer, John R. McLaughlin, Ph.D., of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues followed a cohort of 1,626 unselected women for a mean of 6.9 years. Mutations were identified in 218 women.

In the three-year period after diagnosis, the researchers found that prognosis was significantly improved in the presence of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.68), but there was no difference in prognosis at 10 years after diagnosis (hazard ratio, 1.00; P = 0.90). Among women with serous ovarian cancers who were alive at 12 years after diagnosis, 27.4 percent had BRCA1 mutations, 27.7 percent had BRCA2 mutations, and 27.1 percent were not carriers.

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“Our data indicate that the short-term survival benefit of carrying a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation is not reflected in long-term differences in the proportions of women who ultimately survive their ovarian cancer,” the authors write.

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