The following article is part of conference coverage from the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Symposium, which is being held virtually from March 7-21, 2021. The team at Cancer Therapy Advisor will be reporting on the latest research conducted by leading experts in breast cancer. Check back for more from the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Symposium.

Breast cancer screening in women with BRCA1/2 mutations led to earlier detection and improved survival, according to the results of a retrospective study reported at the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference 2021.

The study included women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at the Hadassah Medical Center, in Jerusalem, between 1996 and 2020 and retrospectively evaluated and grouped according to whether a BRCA1/2 mutation was detected before or after breast cancer diagnosis.

A total of 62 patients who had BRCA1/2 mutations identified before breast cancer diagnosis were allocated to the study group, and 284 patients who had BRCA1/2 mutations identified after breast cancer diagnosis were allocated to the control group.

A higher proportion of patients in the study group were diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ compared with the control group (21.3% vs 6.4%). Also, most patients in the control group were diagnosed with cancer after palpating a lump during breast self-examination (71.9%), whereas only 26.2% of the study group detected their tumor via self-examination.


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The study group also had more favorable TNM (tumor, nodes, metastasis) staging compared with the control group, with more patients having no lymph node involvement (71% vs 56.1%) and tumor in situ (20.96% vs 6.49%).

Axillary lymph node dissection was performed more often in the control group compared with the study group (38% vs 8.7%). No patients in the study group had inoperable disease, which was identified in 7.1% of patients in the control group.

Patients in the study group also had longer overall survival compared with the control group (P =.008).

“High-risk surveillance facilitates the early detection of less extensive breast cancers, leads to more conservative surgeries, and improves survival,” the study authors concluded.

Visit Cancer Therapy Advisor’s conference section for more coverage of the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Symposium.

Reference

Shraga S, Grinshpun A, Kadouri L, et al. Breast screening in BRCA1/2 carriers leads to earlier detection and superior therapy of breast cancers. Poster presentation at: The 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference 2021; March 17-21, 2021. Abstract P042.