BRCA2 Mutations Herald Poor Prognosis in Screen-Detected Prostate Cancer

Editor’s note: You may have heard about the BRCA2 mutation, which can increase a person’s risk for breast cancer. Studies have also shown that it can increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer. Studies have also shown that prostate cancer patients with BRCA2 mutations generally do not survive as long as prostate cancer patients without BRCA2 mutations. A new study explored this more in depth by looking at survival rates for BRCA2+ men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer after standard screening. These men did indeed have shorter survival times than prostate cancer patients without BRCA2 mutations. The researchers say these patients might “benefit from additional therapies, such as with cis-platinum or a PARP [poly ADP-ribose polymerase] inhibitor.”

“Among men with prostate cancer detected on screening, survival among those with a mutation in the BRCA2 gene is much poorer than in those without such a mutation, researchers report.

“The findings suggest that BRCA2 mutation carriers may warrant additional treatments to improve their prognosis, say Steven Narod (Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario) and fellow authors writing in the British Journal of Cancer.

“BRCA2 mutations are known to confer an increased risk for developing prostate cancer and also to be associated with more aggressive tumours. However, the effect of BRCA2 mutations status on mortality in the setting of screen-detected cancers is unclear.”


Alternative Sunitinib Treatment Schedules for mRCC May be Worth the Switch

“Some patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) who are switched from a traditional sunitinib treatment schedule to an alternative schedule fare better on survival measures and suffer fewer adverse events, a Japanese study has found.

“The switch from traditional to alternative schedules was recently found to be effective. But, ‘Japanese patients with mRCC experience substantially different [adverse events] than do patients in many other nations, presumably because of underlying genetic differences’, the authors write.

“They retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 54 patients with mRCC who received sunitinib treatment as first-line therapy between May 2006 and June 2012.”