Specific morphologic features that may predict BRCA1 germline mutation in ovarian cancer have neither been well described nor independently tested. We identified 5 morphologic features associated with BRCA1 mutation status in a series of 20 ovarian cancers from BRCA1 mutation carriers: (1) modified Nottingham grade 3; (2) serous/undifferentiated histology; (3) prominent intraepithelial lymphocytes; (4) marked nuclear atypia with giant/bizarre forms; and (5) abundant mitotic figures. These morphologic features were then tested on 325 ovarian tumors drawn from a population-based Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry and classified into 3 categories independent of the BRCA1 status: "Compatible with BRCA1," "Possibly compatible with BRCA1," and "Not compatible with BRCA1." All "Compatible with BRCA1" tumors were additionally investigated for presence of dominant adnexal mass, fallopian tube mucosal involvement, and uterine cornu involvement. The positive and negative predictive values for "Compatible with BRCA1" were 11/42 (26.2%) and 267/283 (94.3%), respectively, whereas combining the "Compatible with BRCA1" and "Possibly compatible with BRCA1" had positive and negative predictive values of 18/85 (21.2%) and 231/240 (96.3%), respectively. Although dominant adnexal mass and uterine cornu involvement did not add further predictive value, the likelihood of BRCA1 positivity increased to 42.9% when a tumor with "Compatible with BRCA1" histology was also associated with fallopian tube mucosal involvement. The combination of modified Nottingham grade 3 serous or undifferentiated histology, prominent intraepithelial lymphocytes, marked nuclear atypia with giant/bizarre nuclei, and high mitotic index should help to identify women for BRCA1 mutational analysis in the appropriate clinical setting. Ovarian tumors lacking this specific phenotype are unlikely to be associated with BRCA1 and should not undergo mutational analysis in the absence of other indications.
View details for DOI 10.1097/PAS.0b013e31825d9b8d
View details for Web of Science ID 000306656500008
View details for PubMedID 22790858