Characterization of the Cancer Spectrum in Men with Germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 Pathogenic Variants: Results from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA)

Valentina Silvestri, Goska Leslie, Daniel R. Barnes, Bjarni A. Agnarsson, Kristiina Aittomäki, Elisa Alducci, Irene L. Andrulis, Rosa B. Barkardottir, Alicia Barroso, Daniel Barrowdale, Javier Benitez, Bernardo Bonanni, Ake Borg, Saundra S. Buys, Trinidad Caldés, Maria A. Caligo, Carlo Capalbo, Ian Campbell, Wendy K. Chung, Kathleen B.M. ClaesSarah V. Colonna, Laura Cortesi, Fergus J. Couch, Miguel De La Hoya, Orland Diez, Yuan Chun Ding, Susan Domchek, Douglas F. Easton, Bent Ejlertsen, Christoph Engel, D. Gareth Evans, Lidia Feliubadalò, Lenka Foretova, Florentia Fostira, Lajos Géczi, Anne Marie Gerdes, Gord Glendon, Andrew K. Godwin, David E. Goldgar, Eric Hahnen, Frans B.L. Hogervorst, John L. Hopper, Peter J. Hulick, Claudine Isaacs, Angel Izquierdo, Paul A. James, Ramunas Janavicius, Uffe Birk Jensen, Esther M. John, Vijai Joseph, Irene Konstantopoulou, Allison W. Kurian, Ava Kwong, Elisabetta Landucci, Fabienne Lesueur, Jennifer T. Loud, Eva Machackova, Phuong L. Mai, Keivan Majidzadeh-A, Siranoush Manoukian, Marco Montagna, Lidia Moserle, Anna Marie Mulligan, Katherine L. Nathanson, Heli Nevanlinna, Joanne Ngeow Yuen Ye, Liene Nikitina-Zake, Kenneth Offit, Edith Olah, Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, Ana Osorio, Laura Papi, Sue K. Park, Inge Sokilde Pedersen, Pedro Perez-Segura, Annabeth H. Petersen, Pedro Pinto, Berardino Porfirio, Miquel Angel Pujana, Paolo Radice, Johanna Rantala, Muhammad U. Rashid, Barak Rosenzweig, Maria Rossing, Marta Santamariña, Rita K. Schmutzler, Leigha Senter, Jacques Simard, Christian F. Singer, Angela R. Solano, Melissa C. Southey, Linda Steele, Zoe Steinsnyder, Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet, Yen Yen Tan, Manuel R. Teixeira, Soo H. Teo, Mary Beth Terry, Mads Thomassen, Amanda E. Toland, Sara Torres-Esquius, Nadine Tung, Christi J. Van Asperen, Ana Vega, Alessandra Viel, Jeroen Vierstraete, Barbara Wappenschmidt, Jeffrey N. Weitzel, Greet Wieme, Sook Yee Yoon, Kristin K. Zorn, Lesley Mcguffog, Michael T. Parsons, Ute Hamann, Mark H. Greene, Judy A. Kirk, Susan L. Neuhausen, Timothy R. Rebbeck, Marc Tischkowitz, Georgia Chenevix-Trench, Antonis C. Antoniou, Eitan Friedman, Laura Ottini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Importance: The limited data on cancer phenotypes in men with germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variants (PVs) have hampered the development of evidence-based recommendations for early cancer detection and risk reduction in this population. Objective: To compare the cancer spectrum and frequencies between male BRCA1 and BRCA2 PV carriers. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective cohort study of 6902 men, including 3651 BRCA1 and 3251 BRCA2 PV carriers, older than 18 years recruited from cancer genetics clinics from 1966 to 2017 by 53 study groups in 33 countries worldwide collaborating through the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). Clinical data and pathologic characteristics were collected. Main Outcomes and Measures: BRCA1/2 status was the outcome in a logistic regression, and cancer diagnoses were the independent predictors. All odds ratios (ORs) were adjusted for age, country of origin, and calendar year of the first interview. Results: Among the 6902 men in the study (median [range] age, 51.6 [18-100] years), 1634 cancers were diagnosed in 1376 men (19.9%), the majority (922 of 1,376 [67%]) being BRCA2 PV carriers. Being affected by any cancer was associated with a higher probability of being a BRCA2, rather than a BRCA1, PV carrier (OR, 3.23; 95% CI, 2.81-3.70; P <.001), as well as developing 2 (OR, 7.97; 95% CI, 5.47-11.60; P <.001) and 3 (OR, 19.60; 95% CI, 4.64-82.89; P <.001) primary tumors. A higher frequency of breast (OR, 5.47; 95% CI, 4.06-7.37; P <.001) and prostate (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.09-1.78; P =.008) cancers was associated with a higher probability of being a BRCA2 PV carrier. Among cancers other than breast and prostate, pancreatic cancer was associated with a higher probability (OR, 3.00; 95% CI, 1.55-5.81; P =.001) and colorectal cancer with a lower probability (OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.29-0.78; P =.003) of being a BRCA2 PV carrier. Conclusions and Relevance: Significant differences in the cancer spectrum were observed in male BRCA2, compared with BRCA1, PV carriers. These data may inform future recommendations for surveillance of BRCA1/2-associated cancers and guide future prospective studies for estimating cancer risks in men with BRCA1/2 PVs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1218-1230
Number of pages13
JournalJAMA Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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