A new study suggests that a new genetic test might help gauge outcomes for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Advanced ovarian cancer does not progress as rapidly in women who have mutations in certain “DNA repair” genes that are known as homologous recombination genes.
According to researchers, women with the disease who also have these mutations may survive longer.
The finding could someday help guide treatment. Experts believe that the findings highlight the increasing role of DNA test in cancer care.
New information that is being generated with regard to the genetics of ovarian cancer, this study shows how useful such information can be in the everyday management of patients.
The study found that the mutations did not affect whether or not a patient would respond to the treatment. However, the mutations did affect patient outcomes, including how long the women might live and remain disease-free.
Researchers sequenced DNA from blood or tumors or both from nearly 1,200 women using a gene panel test called BROCA-HR.
About 26% of the women had a mutation in at least one of a number of genes predicted to affect DNA repair.
The study found that the median progression-free survival was just over a year for women without mutations, conversely the overall survival was about 3.5 years.
For women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene, the outlook was greatly improved. The average progression free survival was 15.7 and the overall survival was a little more than 55.3 months.
Women with BRCA2 mutations had a median progression-free survival just under 22 months and an overall survival rate of 75 months.
All the women who carried mutations in DNA repair genes had significantly better progression-free and overall survival when compared to those with no mutations.