New Surgical Clinical Trial Recruiting Women with BRCA1 Mutations at High Risk for Ovarian Cancer

A New Ovarian Cancer Clinical Trial at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center is Investigating Efficacy of Surgical Pathways for Women Harboring High-Risk BRCA1 Genetic Mutations

Women harboring mutations in the BRCA1 gene face an incredibly high risk of developing ovarian cancer during their lifetime and much higher risks for peritoneal cancer and melanoma. With a risk profile of approximately 40% to 50% in these individuals by the age of 70, frequent monitoring and active surveillance for early signs of disease, and in some cases, early surgical intervention to remove the ovaries, may be necessary to mitigate the risk of disease.

“Current evidence suggests that approximately 50% of malignancies categorized as high grade serous ovarian cancers actually arise in the fallopian tubes,” says Georgia McCann, MD, associate clinical professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center and leader of the gynecologic oncology clinical trial program.

This presents a dilemma for clinicians and patients considering surgical intervention to reduce their risk of developing cancer. By removing only the fallopian tubes, patients could be spared from the complications of early removal of the ovaries. However, there is not currently sufficient evidence to support this option and achieve optimal risk reduction.

Dr. McCann is the site principal investigator for a multicenter surgical trial sponsored by NRG Oncology and the National Cancer Institute investigating optimal surgical resection pathways for women at high risk for ovarian cancer due to BRCA1 mutations.

The trial, “A Study to Compare Two Surgical Procedures in Women With BRCA1 Mutations to Assess Reduced Risk of Ovarian Cancer,” is investigating the risk reduction efficacy of bilateral salpingectomy compared to bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

This is an important trial for patients and clinicians because it will help determine whether removing only the fallopian tubes, or the ovaries combined with the fallopian tubes, is equivalent in risk reduction, or if one of the pathways provides superior risk reduction in BRCA1 mutation-positive patients.

“Primary care providers and obstetric/gynecology specialists caring for patients with known BRCA1 genetic mutations and high risk for cancer who are considering surgery should be aware of this clinical trial and discuss it with their patients,” says Dr. McCann. “Our program and providers are available for consultation with referring physicians and patients who may potentially benefit from the study’s protocol.”

To learn more about the trial and refer a patient for consultation at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, call 210-450-9500.

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