Opportunities for genetic counseling and germline BRCA1/2 (BRCA) testing are increasing in Japan owing to cancer genomic profiling testing and companion diagnostics being covered by national health insurance for patients with BRCA-related cancers. These tests are useful not only to judge whether platinum agents and PARP inhibitors are indicated but also to reveal an autosomal-dominant inherited cancer syndrome: hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. In individuals with germline BRCA variants, risk of cancers of the breast, ovary, pancreas, and prostate is significantly increased at various ages of onset, but the stomach, uterus, biliary tract, and skin might also be at risk. For women with pathogenic BRCA variants, breast awareness and image analyses should be initiated in their 20s, and risk-reducing procedures such as mastectomy are recommended starting in their 30s, with salpingo-oophorectomy in their late 30s. For male BRCA pathogenic variant carriers, prostatic surveillance should be applied using serum prostate-specific antigen starting in their 40s. For both sexes, image examinations ideally using endoscopic ultrasound and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography and blood testing should begin in their 50s for pancreatic surveillance. Homologous recombination pathway-associated genes are also causative candidates. Variant pathogenicity needs to be evaluated every 6-12 months when results are uncertain for clinical significance. Genetic counseling needs to be offered to the blood relatives of the pathogenic variant carriers with suitable timing. We review the recommended cross-organ BRCA risk management in Japan.
© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Japan Society of Human Genetics.