Grants - Massachusetts - Designated Grants - 2018

Judy Garber, M.D., MPH

Funded by 2017 BRCA Fund-A-Need

The goal of this project is to provide women with BRCA2 mutations with a better option for reducing their risk of breast cancer while managing the menopause symptoms caused by removal of their ovaries. After ovaries are removed, BRCA2 carriers must balance management of menopause symptoms against high risk of primarily hormone-driven breast cancers, without much data about the long-term safety of hormone replacement. A new combination of bazedoxefine,a tamoxifen-like medication, and conjugated estrogen (BZA/CE or Duavee® ), has been extensively studied in postmenopausal women (without mutations) with established safety data . BZA/CE should reduce breast cancer risk without compromising quality of life for BRCA2 carriers by causing menopausal symptoms, bone loss or uterine problems. The randomized clinical trial compares BZA/CE to CE alone for 3 months in women carrying a BRCA2 mutation soon after ovary surgery. Their breast tissue will be examined to assess whether, as predicted, the BZA/CE has protective effects against breast cancer compared to the CE alone. After 3 months, the study is unblinded so those on CE can take a short course of progesterone. The exciting part of the project is all of the novel science that will be applied to assess the action of BZA/CE and CE on normal breast tissue in women with BRCA2 mutations. This has not been very well-studied, and is critical not only for breast cancer prevention but also for potential therapeutic implications for the cancers BRCA2 mutation carriers can develop.