Background Loss of function in either breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein (BRCA1) or breast cancer type 2 susceptibility protein (BRCA2) is a major risk factor for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) development. BRCA1 or BRCA2 deficiencies are associated with short-term prognosis and might have importance for the treatment of women with the disease. However, the screening of all possible mechanisms of dysfunction is expensive, time-consuming and difficult to apply in clinical practice. On the other hand, immunohistochemistry (IHC) is a simple and reliable method to access the expression of several proteins in tumour tissues.
Materials and methods This systematic review aims to evaluate the current usage of IHC to detect BRCA1 and BRCA2 deficiencies in EOC. We searched and evaluated all primary literature on the use of IHC for evaluating BRCA1 and BRCA2 proteins expression in EOC. The main concepts for the search were: ovarian neoplasms, IHC, BRCA1 and BRCA2.
Results Forty-four studies from 925 unique titles were included. A total of 4206 tumour samples were evaluated for BRCA1 and 1041 for BRCA2 expression. Twelve BRCA1 primary antibodies were used in 41 studies, and the most common was the MS110 clone (75.6%). Seven BRCA2 primary antibodies were used in ten studies. Using the cut-off of 10%, 47.0% of EOCs are associated with loss of BRCA1 and 34.5% with the loss of BRCA2 expression.
Conclusion IHC was effective to detect loss of BRCA1 protein expression in EOC; however, data on BRCA2 expression were heterogeneous and difficult to interpret.
- ovarian tumour
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Handling editor Runjan Chetty.
Contributors Both authors contributed enough to this article to be considered as authors.
Funding LAT (grant number 130162/2017-5) was funded by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). FJCdR (grant number 303210/2018-4) was funded by the CNPq. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brasil—Finance Code 001.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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