Hereditary breast cancer growth rates and its impact on screening policy

Tilanus-Linthorst, M. M. A., Kriege, M., Boetes, C., Hop, W. C. J., Obdeijn, I-M., Oosterwijk, J. C., Peterse, H. L., Zonderland, H. M., Meijer, S., Eggermont, A. M. M., De Koning, H. J., Klijn, J. G. M. & Brekelmans, C. T. M., Jul-2005, In : European Journal of Cancer. 41, 11, p. 1610-1617 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Madeleine M.A. Tilanus-Linthorst
  • Mieke Kriege
  • Carla Boetes
  • Wim C.J. Hop
  • Inge-Marie Obdeijn
  • Jan C. Oosterwijk
  • Hans L. Peterse
  • Harmine M. Zonderland
  • Sybren Meijer
  • Alexander M.M. Eggermont
  • Harry J. De Koning
  • Jan G.M. Klijn
  • Cecile T.M. Brekelmans
Imaging is often performed yearly for the surveillance of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and women at high familial breast cancer risk. Growth of cancers in carriers may be faster as these tumours are predominantly high grade. Quantitative data on tumour growth rates in these 2 groups are lacking. Here, we have examined 80 high-risk women under surveillance for tumour size at diagnosis and preceding examinations at mammography and/or MRI. Tumour volume doubling time (DT) was assessed in 30 cancers in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and 25 non-carriers. Impact of age and menopausal status were also evaluated. Mean DT of all invasive cancers was shorter in carriers (45 days CI: 26-73) than non-carriers (84 days CI: 58-131) (P = 0.048). Mean age at diagnosis was lower in carriers (40 years) than non-carriers (45 years) (P = 0.007). At multivariable analysis only age (P = 0.03), not risk-group (P = 0.26) nor menopause (P = 0.58) correlated significantly with DT. The mean growth rate slowed down to half in each successive 10 years-older group. In conclusion, age at detection indicated the growth rates of hereditary and familial breast cancers. It is recommended that the screening frequency should be adjusted according to a woman's age and a high-sensitive biannual test may be appropriate before the age of 40 years. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1610-1617
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2005


  • BRCA1, Breast cancer, Familial breast cancer, Growth rate, Interval cancer, Mammography, MRI, Screening, Sojourn time, Surveillance, BRCA1 protein, BRCA2 protein, adult, article, breast carcinoma, cancer cytodiagnosis, cancer growth, tumor invasion, cancer screening, controlled study, diagnostic accuracy, early diagnosis, echomammography, familial cancer, female, health program, heterozygosity, high risk population, human, major clinical study, medical assessment, menopause, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, priority journal, screening test, tumor volume

ID: 4355720