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Somatic genetic alterations in BRCA2-associated and sporadic male breast cancer

  • M Tirkkonen
  • T Kainu
  • Niklas Loman
  • O T Johannsson
  • Håkan Olsson
  • R B Barkardottir
  • O P Kallioniemi
  • Åke Borg
Publishing year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 56-61
Publication/Series: Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer
Volume: 24
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

The genetic changes underlying the development and progression of male breast cancer are poorly understood. Germline BRCA2 mutations account for a significant part of male breast cancer, but the majority of patients lack a known inherited predisposition. We recently demonstrated that the progression of breast cancer in female carriers of a germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation follows specific genetic pathways, distinct from each other and from sporadic breast cancer. In the present study, we performed a genome-wide survey by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) of somatic genetic aberrations in 26 male breast cancers, including five tumors from BRCA2 mutation carriers. BRCA2 tumors exhibited a significantly higher number of chromosomal aberrations than sporadic tumors. The most common alterations in sporadic male breast cancer were +1q (38%), +8q (33%), +17q (33%), -13q (29%), and -8p (24%). In tumors from BRCA2 mutation carriers, the five most common genetic changes were +8q (100%), +20q (100%), +17q (80%), -13q (80%), and -6q (60%). The CGH results in these two groups of male breast cancers are almost identical to those identified in the corresponding sporadic and BRCA2-associated female breast cancers. The results suggest that despite substantial hormonal differences between females and males, similar genetic changes are selected for during tumor progression. Furthermore, the presence of a highly penetrant germline BRCA2 mutation apparently leads to a characteristic somatic tumor progression pathway, again shared between affected male and female mutation carriers.


  • Cancer and Oncology


  • ISSN: 1045-2257
Åke Borg
Åke Borg
E-mail: ake [dot] borg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Principal investigator

Oncology and Pathology, MV

+46 46 275 25 52

MV 404 C21B2


Project manager

Familial Breast Cancer



Oncology and Pathology, MV

MV 404 C21C2