Westchester Medical Center LogoThis piece of news may find a huge audience among the fairer sex as not only does it concern breast or ovarian cancer but also infertility. Westchester Medical Center Physician Dr. Kutluk Oktay, MD, Director, Division of Reproductive Medicine & Infertility supposedly came to the inference that mutations in the BRCA1 gene i.e. gene linked to early beginning of breast cancer seem to be connected to a premature diminishment of egg reserve. This discovery could at least in part, clarify the relation between infertility and breast or ovarian cancer risks.

In the course of the study, Dr. Oktay’s team supposedly conducted ovarian stimulation in around 126 women suffering from breast cancer. He performed it with the purpose of fertility protection by embryo or oocyte cryopreservation.

The outcomes supposedly discovered that of the 82 women who met the inclusion norms, around 47 women had gone through BRCA testing, and about 14 apparently had mutation in BRCA genes. In BRCA mutation-positive patients, low ovarian response rate was said to be considerably more as opposed to BRCA mutation-negative patients and with BRCA-untested women.

Every mutation-positive low responder appeared to have BRCA1 mutations, but low response could not be seen in women who were just BRCA2 mutation positive. As opposed to controls, BRCA1 mutation but not BRCA2 mutation-positive women is believed to have generated lesser amount of eggs.

It is approximated that, in the common population, around 1 in every 1,000 women is apparently BRCA mutation positive, and this frequency could be as elevated as 2.5% in particular ethnic groups. Irrespective of primary mechanisms of premature diminishment of egg reserve in BRCA1 mutation-positive women, the results could have deep connotations for the upcoming fertility of a huge amount of women in the population.

The study also seems to mention that there may be a new involvement between low response to ovarian stimulation with fertility drugs and BRCA1 mutations. It could propose a likely connection between infertility, and breast or ovarian cancer threats. The examination of the BRCA gene in women with infertility and low response to ovarian stimulation could be valuable, particularly if there is a family past with breast and/or ovarian cancer. Better studies are necessary to explore the effects of BRCA mutations on fertility in the common population.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.