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Germline Mutations in ATM and BRCA1/2 Distinguish Risk for Lethal and Indolent Prostate Cancer and are Associated with Early Age at Death.

BACKGROUND: Germline mutations in BRCA1/2 and ATM have been associated with prostate cancer (PCa) risk.

OBJECTIVE: To directly assess whether germline mutations in these three genes distinguish lethal from indolent PCa and whether they confer any effect on age at death.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective case-case study of 313 patients who died of PCa and 486 patients with low-risk localized PCa of European, African, and Chinese descent. Germline DNA of each of the 799 patients was sequenced for these three genes.

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Mutation carrier rates and their effect on lethal PCa were analyzed using the Fisher's exact test and Cox regression analysis, respectively.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: The combined BRCA1/2 and ATM mutation carrier rate was significantly higher in lethal PCa patients (6.07%) than localized PCa patients (1.44%), p=0.0007. The rate also differed significantly among lethal PCa patients as a function of age at death (10.00%, 9.08%, 8.33%, 4.94%, and 2.97% in patients who died ≤ 60 yr, 61-65 yr, 66-70 yr, 71-75 yr, and over 75 yr, respectively, p=0.046) and time to death after diagnosis (12.26%, 4.76%, and 0.98% in patients who died ≤ 5 yr, 6-10 yr, and>10 yr after a PCa diagnosis, respectively, p=0.0006). Survival analysis in the entire cohort revealed mutation carriers remained an independent predictor of lethal PCa after adjusting for race and age, prostate-specific antigen, and Gleason score at the time of diagnosis (hazard ratio=2.13, 95% confidence interval: 1.24-3.66, p=0.004). A limitation of this study is that other DNA repair genes were not analyzed.

CONCLUSIONS: Mutation status of BRCA1/2 and ATM distinguishes risk for lethal and indolent PCa and is associated with earlier age at death and shorter survival time.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Prostate cancer patients with inherited mutations in BRCA1/2 and ATM are more likely to die of prostate cancer and do so at an earlier age.

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