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Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Metastatic to the Central Nervous System and a Family History Concerning for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer—A Potential Relationship
  1. Amelia M. Jernigan, MD,
  2. Haider Mahdi, MD, MPH and
  3. Peter G. Rose, MD
  1. Section of Gynecologic Oncology, Women’s Health Institute and Gynecology and Obstetrics, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland OH.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Amelia M. Jernigan, MD, Section of Gynecologic Oncology, Women’s Health Institute and Gynecology and Obstetrics, The Cleveland Clinic, Desk A81, 9500 Euclid Ave, Cleveland OH 44195. E-mail: Amelia.jernigan{at}


Objectives To estimate the frequency of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) in women with central nervous system (CNS) metastasis from epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and to evaluate for a potential relationship between HBOC status and survival.

Methods and Materials A total of 1240 cases of EOC treated between 1995 and 2014 were reviewed to identify CNS metastasis. Demographics, treatment, family history, genetic testing, and survival outcomes were recorded. Women were then classified as HBOC+ or HBOC− based on histories and genetic testing results. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and univariable Cox proportional hazards models were used.

Results Of 1240 cases, 32 cases of EOC with CNS metastasis were identified (2.58%). Median age was 52.13 (95% confidence interval [CI], 40.56–78.38) years, and 87.10% had stage III to IV disease. Among those with documented personal and family history, 66.7% (20/30) were suspicious for HBOC syndrome. Among those who underwent germline testing, 71.43% (5/7) had a pathogenic BRCA mutation. The median time from diagnosis to CNS metastasis was 29.17 (95% CI, 0–187.91) months. At a median survival of 5.97 (95% CI, 0.20–116.95) months from the time of CNS metastasis and 43.76 (95% CI, 1.54-188.44) months from the time of EOC diagnosis, 29 women died of disease. Univariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to compare HBOC− to HBOC+ women and did not reveal a significant difference for survival outcomes.

Conclusions Confirmed BRCA mutations and histories concerning for HBOC syndrome are common in women with EOC metastatic to the CNS. We did not demonstrate a relationship between HBOC status and survival outcomes, but were not powered to do so.

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Central nervous system metastasis
  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.