Laboratoire d’oncologie moléculaire humaine, Centre Oscar-Lambret, 1, rue Frédéric-Combemale, 59020 Lille Cedex, France.
The BRCA1 gene modification is responsible for an autosomal dominant syndrome of inherited early onset breast and/or ovarian cancer. This gene is estimated to account for almost half of inherited breast cancers and three quarters of inherited breast/ovarian cancers. This suggests that about 1 out of 500 women may carry BRCA1 mutation. The BRCA1 gene was isolated by positional cloning in 1994. More than 100 different mutations have been found in the germline of affected individuals. We looked by systematic sequencing at BRCA1 germline mutations in 36 patients treated at the Centre Oscar-Lambret for breast and/or ovarian cancer and that belonged to high risk families. We have found 24 mutations: 9 true mutations inducing modifications of the BRCA1 protein (BRCA1+), 5 mutations with unknown consequences on the BRCA1 protein and 10 mutations corresponding to polymorphisms that had been previously described. All the BRCA1+ cases had a HPG3 tumor. The median age of discovery and the receptor positivity percentage are lower in hereditary breast cancer than in the standard population of the breast cancers treated in our center. Consequently, BRCA1 mutations are associated to parameters thought to be of bad prognosis.