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Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy (RRSO) in BRCA Mutation Carriers: Experience With a Consecutive Series of 111 Patients Using a Standardized Surgical-Pathological Protocol
  1. C. Bethan Powell, MD*,
  2. Lee-may Chen, MD,
  3. Jane McLennan, PhD*,
  4. Beth Crawford, MS*,
  5. Charles Zaloudek, MD,
  6. Joseph T. Rabban, MD, MPH,
  7. Dan H. Moore, PhD§ and
  8. John Ziegler, MD*
  1. *Cancer Risk Program,
  2. Gynecology-Oncology Program, Departments of
  3. Pathology, and
  4. §Biostatistics & Epidemiology, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to C. Bethan Powell, MD, The Permanente Medical Group, 2238 #5SE Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94115. E-mail: Bethan.Powell{at}


Background: Women carriers of BRCA mutations often have occult malignancy found at the time of risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO). We report outcomes in 111 consecutive BRCA-positive women who had RRSO using a rigorous surgical-pathological protocol from 1996 to 2008.

Method: We identified risk factors associated with finding an occult malignancy at RRSO with outcomes followed for a median of 61 months.

Results: A total of 111 BRCA carriers elected RRSO, 10 patients [9.1%] had 14 sites of occult neoplasia. Two patients had invasive serous fallopian tube carcinoma (TSC) only, 1 patient had invasive serous ovarian carcinoma (OSC) only, 5 patients had tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (TIC) only, and 2 patients had multifocal lesions of the ovary (OSC) and TIC. Occult ovarian carcinomas were only detected in BRCA1 patients, and all BRCA2 carcinomas involved only the fallopian tube. The odds of finding occult carcinoma is 4 times greater (odds ratio, 4.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-20.7) in women older than 50 than in younger ones (P = 0.023). A history of invasive breast cancer was associated with a reduced risk of occult carcinoma (odds ratio, 0.2; 95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.85). In median follow-up of 5 years, recurrence rate after detection of an occult carcinoma was 10% and the risk for primary peritoneal carcinoma was less than 1%.

Conclusion: A rigorous surgical protocol with meticulous pathologic review at RRSO yielded an overall detection rate of 9.1% for occult gynecological carcinoma in BRCA mutation carriers followed by a multidisciplinary team at a single institution. Primary peritoneal carcinoma after RRSO is rare.

  • Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy
  • BRCA mutation carriers

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