Medline ® Abstract for Reference 37
of 'Prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and associated cancer risks'
The contribution of founder mutations to early-onset breast cancer in French-Canadian women.
Ghadirian P, Robidoux A, Zhang P, Royer R, Akbari M, Zhang S, Fafard E, Costa M, Martin G, Potvin C, Patocskai E, Larouche N, Younan R, Nassif E, Giroux S, Narod SA, Rousseau F, Foulkes WD
Clin Genet. 2009;76(5):421.
In an ethnically-homogeneous population, it is valuable to identify founder mutations in cancer-predisposing genes. Founder mutations have been found in four breast-cancer-predisposing genes in French-Canadian breast cancer families. The frequencies of the mutant alleles have been measured neither in a large series of unselected breast cancer patients from Quebec, nor in healthy controls. These estimates are necessary to measure their contribution to the hereditary burden of breast cancer in Quebec and to help develop genetic screening policies which are appropriate for the province. We studied 564 French-Canadian women with early-onset invasive breast cancer who were treated at a single Montreal hospital. Patients had been diagnosed at age 50 or less, and were ascertained between 2004 and 2008. We screened all 564 patients for nine founder mutations: four in BRCA1, three in BRCA2 and one each in PALB2 and CHEK2. We also studied 6433 DNA samples from newborn infants from the Quebec City area to estimate the frequency of the nine variant alleles in the French-Canadian population. We identified a mutation in 36 of the 564 breast cancer cases (6.4%) and in 35 of 6443 controls (0.5%). In the breast cancer patients, the majority of mutations were in BRCA2 (54%). However, in the general population (newborn infants), the majority of mutations were in CHEK2 (54%). The odds ratio for breast cancer to age 50, given a BRCA1 mutation, was 10.1 (95% CI: 3.7-28) and given a BRCA2 mutation was 29.5 (95% CI: 12.9-67). The odds ratio for breast cancer to age 50, given a CHEK2 mutation, was 3.6 (95% CI: 1.4-9.1). One-half of the women with a mutation had a first- or second-degree relative diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. Thus, it can be concluded that a predisposing mutation in BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2 or PALB2 is present in approximately 6% of French-Canadian women with early-onset breast cancer. It is reasonable to offer screening for founder mutations to all French-Canadian women with breast cancer before age 50. The frequency of these mutations in the general population (0.5%) is too low to advocate population-based screening.
Epidemiology Research Unit, Research Centre, Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal-Hotel-Dieu, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.