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Brca gene mutations and survival in ovarian cancer sufferers

In an Israeli study (J Clin Oncol 20: 463-66; 2002) the outcomes of 234 women presenting with ovarian cancer and harbouring a mutation of the oncogene BRCA family were compared with the outcomes in 662 women presenting with the same diagnosis but not carrying such a germline mutation. The three year survival was higher in those carrying a BRCA mutation than those without this mutation ( 66% versus 52%). This interesting discovery requires further thought as to its implications for families harbouring the gene and the mechanisms of "aggression" of some ovarian cancer cells.