Prophylactic interventions for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risks and mortality in BRCA1/2 carriers

Taoran Liu, Jing Yu, Yangyang Gao, Xinyang Ma, Shan Jiang, Yuanyuan Gu*, Wai-kit Ming*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: Hereditary breast and ovarian cancers (HBOCs) pose significant health risks worldwide and are mitigated by prophylactic interventions. However, a meta-analysis of their efficacy and the impact of different genetic variants on their effectiveness is lacking. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted, adhering to Cochrane guidelines. The review encompassed studies that involved prophylactic interventions for healthy women with BRCA variants, focusing on cancer incidence and mortality outcomes. The Newcastle–Ottawa Scale was used for risk of bias assessment. We pooled the extracted outcomes using random effects models and conducted subgroup analyses stratified by intervention, variant, and cancer types. Results: A total of 21 studies met the inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis revealed that prophylactic interventions significantly reduced cancer risk and mortality. The subgroup analysis showed a greater protective effect for BRCA2 than BRCA1 variant carriers. Risk-reducing surgeries (RRS) were more effective than chemoprevention, with RRS notably reducing cancer risk by 56% compared to 39% for chemoprevention. Prophylactic oophorectomy significantly reduced HBOC risks, while the effect of prophylactic mastectomy and chemoprevention on mortality was less conclusive. Conclusions: Prophylactic interventions significantly reduce the risk of HBOC and associated mortality. This comprehensive analysis provides insights for future economic evaluations and clinical decision-making in HBOC interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
  • cancer prevention
  • precision medicine
  • systematic review
  • meta-analysis
  • chemoprevention
  • BRCA
  • genomics
  • genetics
  • precision public health


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