Should BRCA2 mutation carriers avoid neoadjuvant chemotherapy?
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BRCA2 mutation carriers typically develop luminal B breast cancers. Data on the effectiveness of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in these patients are limited because of small patient numbers and lack of prospective studies. We used our 15-year genetic clinic database to compare retrospectively the pathological complete response rates (pCR) and rates of post-chemotherapy nodal involvement among BRCA2 carriers and BRCA1/2-negative (WT) patients with luminal B tumours, all treated with neoadjuvant anthracyclines ± taxanes-based chemotherapy. Twenty-nine BRCA2 carriers and 67 WT patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were analysed. Patients and treatment characteristics were represented. A pCR occurred in 3 (10 %) BRCA2 patients and 13 (19 %) WT patients (p = 0.43). Twenty (69 %) BRCA2 carriers and 34 (51 %) WT patients remained node-positive at surgery (p = 0.17). BRCA2 germline mutations are associated with a low probability of pCR and a high risk of axillary invasion. Alternative treatments are highly expected, and clinical trials are needed to set the best treatment regimen in this population.
KeywordsBreast cancer BRCA2 Neoadjuvant chemotherapy pCR Response rate
Conflict of interest
The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
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