I wonder if other studies have been done with larger numbers and what the results have been. The study mentions that this is "the first formal assessment of life expectancy in women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in these genes".
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Jun;17(6):1535-42.
Links Better Life Expectancy in Women with BRCA2 Compared with BRCA1 Mutations Is Attributable to Lower Frequency and Later Onset of Ovarian Cancer.
Byrd LM, Shenton A, Maher ER, Woodward E, Belk R, Lim C, Lalloo F, Howell A, Jayson GC, Evans GD. St. Mary's Hospital, Hathersage Road, Whitworth Park, Manchester M13 0JH, United Kingdom. Louise.Byrd@cmmc.nhs.uk.
PURPOSE: No formal assessment of life expectancy in women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in these genes has been reported previously. We have evaluated life expectancy using actuarial analysis and assessed the effect of breast and ovarian cancers on premature death in >1,000 BRCA1/2 carriers.
METHODS: Families with pathogenic mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been ascertained in a 10-million population region of United Kingdom since 1996. Mutation carriers and their first-degree relatives were used in an analysis of breast and ovarian cancer incidence and mortality as well as to derive and compare an actuarial assessment of life expectancy.
RESULTS: Six hundred twelve BRCA1 and 482 BRCA2 female mutation carriers were identified from 482 families. Life expectancy was significantly reduced for BRCA1 carriers compared with BRCA2 (P = 0.0002). This effect was attributable to an increased death rate from ovarian cancer (P = 0.04). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a better long-term survival from early-stage ovarian cancer in BRCA2 carriers but no significant differences in deaths from breast cancer or from women presenting with late-stage ovarian cancer. There was no other major contributing cause to death other than breast/ovarian cancer in BRCA1/2 female carriers.
CONCLUSION: Interventions to reduce ovarian cancer incidence are likely to have a greater effect on life expectancy in BRCA1 compared with BRCA2 carriers. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008;17(6):1535-42).