Ovarian cancer: with a BRCA genetic mutation

As we have explained, some ovarian cancers develop because of a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation . When this mutation is hereditary, this cancer usually occurs before age 50.

This genetic mutation can be discovered under different circumstances:
> first, in women who have not developed cancer, but who have in their immediate family cases of breast or ovarian cancer. In these women, after an oncogenetic consultation, a screening test may be recommended by performing a blood test. The geneticist explains the issues and consequences of such screening (especially if it is positive). Because if this woman has mutated BRCA 1/2 genes, she will have to be followed very carefully ...
> In patients who have developed serous epithelial ovarian cancer and in whom a blood test has been performed to detect a BRCA1 / 2 mutation (about 15 of these ovarian cancers have a genetic mutation of this type).
> in patients who have developed serous epithelial ovarian cancer and who have undergone surgery. After ovarian cancer surgery, from the extracted cancerous ovarian cells, a genetic analysis of the cancer cells can be performed for a mutated BRCA gene.

If the patient with ovarian cancer has a mutated BRCA 1/2 gene, targeted therapy with a PARP inhibitor drug may be prescribed. This medication is given in case of recurrence (after surgical treatment, and chemotherapy).

Specific drugs in case of mutated BRCA gene 1/2

Inhibitors of PARP are a new therapeutic class indicated in case of recurrence of certain ovarian cancers with BRCA mutation. "They act by preventing the action of the PARP enzyme that normally occurs inside the cells to repair genetic mutations.In the end, under the action of the PARP inhibitor, the cancer cells can no longer repair their genetic alterations (DNA) lesions will accumulate in cancer cells ... which will eventually die, "says Dr. Anne Floquet, medical oncologist at the Bergognie Institute in Bordeaux.

Olaparib is a PARP inhibitor available in France. "To be prescribed, we must ensure that there is a BRCA mutation, " says Irene de La Porte, doctor of Astra Zeneca laboratory. "It can be done by performing a blood test in the patient (looking for a so-called constitutional genetic mutation), or by analyzing ovarian cancer cells extracted during the surgical procedure (looking for a so-called somatic genetic mutation) ". This medication is given continuously every day, provided that the last platinum-based chemotherapy sessions have been active.

Read also :
> Ovarian disease
> The ovarian cyst
> Polycystic Ovaries (OPK)

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