Purpose: BRCA1/2 founder pathogenic variants (PVs) occur in various populations, but data on the mutational spectrum in Africans are limited. We examined BRCA1/2 PVs in breast cancer patients of Ethiopian Jewish (EJ) origin. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed BRCA1/2 test results and clinical features of EJ breast cancer patients from seven medical institutions. We obtained heterozygote carrier rates in affected individuals from the laboratories of the largest Israeli HMO (Clalit). Population carrier frequency was determined in EJ controls. Results: We identified three recurrent BRCA2 PVs in 11 EJ breast cancer patients (9 females, 2 males): c.7579delG, c.5159C > A, and c.9693delA. Only c.5159C > A was previously reported in Africans. In women, mean age at diagnosis was 35.7y; 8/9 were diagnosed with advanced disease. All tumors were invasive, 4/9 were triple negative. Only 3/11 carriers had relevant family history. Carrier rate in high-risk breast cancer patients was 11% (3/28; 95%CI [2.3%, 28.2%]). Combined carrier rate among controls was 1.8% (5/280; 95%CI [0.6%, 4.1%]). Conclusion: EJs harbor 3 recurrent BRCA2 PVs presenting with relatively severe breast cancer morbidity. Combined with the high BRCA2 carrier rate in the EJ population, these findings merit increasing awareness in this community and suggest that a culturally adapted population screening approach may be warranted.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by Grant support from the Israeli Cancer Association through the Israeli Breast Cancer Consortium by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF, NY, to E.L.L.) and by a Grant of the Israeli Cancer Association, to Prof. Zohar Levi, “Identification of minorities with cancer genes.”
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
- Breast cancer
- Ethiopian Jews
- Founder mutations