The cause of pancreatic cancer involves many factors. One of the primary causes is family history. BRCA2 mutations play a major role in the prognosis of cancer of the pancreas. BRCA1 on the other hand does not specifically affect the mutation of this disease.
The patients who have pancreatic cancer linked with BRCA2 have someone in their blood relation diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancers. The mechanism is still unknown. However, somatic mutations are quite rare in the case of pancreatic cancer. There are 2% of pancreatic adenocarcinoma cases which have a direct association with BRCA2.
Pancreatic cancer is considered notorious when it comes to the management plan of the disease. There is a heightened risk of pancreatic cancer in people who test positive for the BRCA2 mutation. There are two scenarios: either BRCA2 is somatic or it is transferred through genes.
BRCA2 Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis
Family history of pancreatic disease or cancer accounts for 10% of the total cases. Mostly, there is no clear reason for the development of pancreatic cancer. At the age of 50, screening tests are essential to detect the disease at early stages. Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed at late stages when the disease and symptoms have progressed.
For the early diagnosis, it is also recommended that patients should start getting the screening at least ten years before they turn 50. It is specifically advised to those who have a confirmed genetic history of cancer. Genetic testing of BRCA2 mutation is compulsory for these patients.
Individuals with negative BRCA2 mutation tests do not necessarily need rigid tests. Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography which has the same results as magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) is highly recommended. Other than this, endoscopic ultrasound is also referred to for diagnosing and detecting the disease. MRI scans can ensure high-resolution scans and pictures of the affected area.
The information about the lesions can be identified with the reports of endoscopic ultrasound. It can help to understand whether the cells are benign or malignant. Fine needle aspiration biopsy is the last resort for a prognosis if the results are not clear.
BRCA2 Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rate
The advanced stages of pancreatic cancer will have a survival rate of approximately 1 year. There are 7% chances that the malignancy cases can survive up to 5 years. The quality of life is severely impaired. Patients with BRCA2 mutations have high chances to progress into malignant cancers.
According to the research 4.9% is the survival rate percentage of patients with BRCA2 pancreatic cancer. 90% of women are affected by this disease, while men are affected after the age of seventy years. This type of cancer is most common in developing countries.
A high rate of mutations is observed in the pancreatic adenocarcinoma. These mutations will ultimately develop cancer of the breast or ovaries. 15 percent of patients will develop ovarian cancer if they are BRCA2 positive. Patients with a family history should have regular checkups to rule out this disease. It is advised to start the treatment early to improve the quality of life.
BRCA2 Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
The treatment options for pancreatic cancer are continuously improving and under discovery. The first-line treatment will include chemotherapy. This includes Folfirinox and Gemcitabine. This therapy will target cancerous cells rapidly, especially those cells that are associated with BRCA mutations. Multidrug chemotherapy has been highly effective for these patients.
PARP inhibitors are the second-line agents in the treatment of BRCA2 pancreatic cancer. It is highly beneficial for patients who suffer from BRCA2 mutations with pancreatic cancer. A unique vulnerability is created when the pancreatic cancerous cells are targeted with PARP inhibitors.
The DNA break repairs are blocked with the help of these inhibitors. DNA cross-linking is caused by anti-neoplastic activity. Cisplatin can help to reduce the mutations of BRCA2 effectively. Although still, clinical researchers are finding a way to combine cisplatin with other antineoplastic agents for the treatment of this cancer.
BRCA mutation testing should be made compulsory while diagnosing pancreatic cancer, especially when there is a risk of genetic predisposition. DNA cross-linking agent is helpful to treat pancreatic cancer related to BRCA2 mutation. Other factors should be considered while diagnosing and treating this cancer.