American Association for Cancer Research, Inc. (AACR)
[en] Breast cancer ; BRCA1 ; BRCA2 ; Methylation ; Tunisia
[en] Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 promoter methylation in the pathogenesis of sporadic breast cancer in Tunisian patients. Methods: Breast carcinoma tissues (n=117) and available paired normal breast tissues (n=65) from Tunisian women who had no family history were investigated for the methylation status of BRCA1 and BRCA2 promoters using methylation-specific PCR. Breast specimens from women without carcinoma (16 fibroadenomas and 5 mastopathies) were used as control. Results: Hypermethylation of BRCA1 and BRCA2 promoters was detected respectively in 60.7% and 69.2% of the carcinoma tissues, and in only 7.7% and 4.6% of the paired normal breast tissues. None of the fibroadenomas and mastopathies showed hypermethylation. Correlations were found between BRCA1 and BRCA2 hypermethylation and decrease in their mRNA expression (p=0.02 and p=0.009, respectively). Moreover, BRCA1 methylation correlates with patients age (p=0.01) and triple negative (ER-, PR-, HER2-) tumors (p=0.01). Patients with methylated BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 had a significant prolonged survivals compared to those with unmethylated tumors (p=0.002). Conclusion: Our results suggest an important role of BRCA1 and BRCA2 promoter methylation in breast cancer development in the Tunisian population.