Intensive breast screening in BRCA2 mutation carriers is associated with reduced breast cancer specific and all cause mortality
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice. 2016, 14 (8) 10.1186/s13053-016-0048-3
Background The addition of annual MRI screening to mammography has heightened optimism that intensive screening along with improved treatments may substantially improve life expectancy of women at high risk of breast cancer. However, survival data from BRCA2 mutation carriers undergoing intensive combined breast screening are scarce. Methods We have collated the results of screening with either annual mammography or mammography with MRI in female BRCA2 mutation carriers in Manchester and Oslo and use a Manchester control group of BRCA2 mutation carriers who had their first breast cancer diagnosed without intensive screening. Results Eighty-seven BRCA2 mutation carriers had undergone combined (n = 34) or mammography (n = 53) screening compared to 274 without such intensive screening. Ten year breast cancer specific survival was 100 % in the combined group (95 % CI 82.5–100 %) and 85.5 % (95 % CI 72.6–98.4 %) in the mammography group compared to 74.6 % (95 % CI 66.6–82.6 %) in the control group. Better survival was driven by lymph node status (negative in 67 % of screened vs 39 % of unscreened women; p < 0.001) and a significantly greater proportion of intensively screened women had invasive breast cancers <2 cm at diagnosis (74.6 % vs 50.4 %; p = 0.002). Conclusion Intensive combined breast cancer screening with annual MRI and mammography appears to improve survival from breast cancer in BRCA2 mutation carriers. Data from larger groups are required to confirm the effectiveness of combined screening in BRCA2 carriers.