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Five-year survival decreases over time in patients with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer: a systemic review and meta-analysis


Introduction Short-term survival rates of patients with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer have been previously shown to be longer than those of non-carriers. We aimed to study the long-term survival rates of these patients and investigate whether the 5-year advantage decreases over time.

Methods A systematic review of the literature was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyzes (PRISMA) statement. The study protocol can be assessed at PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews (, registration number CRD42019137455). We considered for inclusion studies providing Kaplan–Meier survival curves up to and including 10 years, comparing patients with ovarian cancer with and without BRCA mutations. Our main outcome was the conditional probability of surviving an additional 5 years.

Results A total of 13 references comprising 4565 patients was analyzed, of which 1131 BRCA1/2-mutated carriers and 3434 non-carriers were included. The expected higher 5-year survival rate in BRCA-mutated patients was observed (risk difference (RD)=14.9%, p=0.0002, risk ratio (RR)=1.36, p=0.001). Ten-year survival rates were comparatively less improved in BRCA-mutated patients (RD=8.6%, p=0.042, RR=1.25, p=0.12). After already surviving 5 years, no advantage in probability of further surviving 5 additional years was observed for the BRCA-mutated group (RD=2.9%, p=0.71, RR=0.97, p=0.78).

Conclusion Our results provide insight into long-term survival rates and prognosis in patients with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer which suggest that, despite the improved 5-year prognosis, the conditional probability of surviving an additional 5 years does not show the same advantage. The relatively low long-term advantage highlights the significance of epithelial ovarian cancer recurrence prevention. In the era of poly adenosine ribose inhibitors, future studies should explore the adequate follow-up and the benefit of a longer maintenance treatment phase, aiming to prolong the long-term survival of BRCA-mutated patients.

  • ovarian cancer

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