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Pheochromocytoma (PCC) is a rare, mostly benign tumour of the adrenal medulla. Hereditary PCC accounts for ~35% of cases and has been associated with germline mutations in several cancer susceptibility genes (e.g., KIF1B, SDHB, VHL, SDHD, RET). We performed whole-exome sequencing in a family with four PCC-affected patients in two consecutive generations and identified a potential novel candidate pathogenic variant in the REXO2 gene that affects splicing (c.531-1G>T (NM 015523.3)), which co-segregated with the phenotype in the family. REXO2 encodes for RNA exonuclease 2 protein and localizes to 11q23, a chromosomal region displaying allelic imbalance in PCC. REXO2 protein has been associated with DNA repair, replication and recombination processes and thus its inactivation may contribute to tumorigenesis. While the study suggests that this novel REXO2 gene variant underlies PCC in this family, additional functional studies are required in order to establish the putative role of the REXO2 gene in PCC predisposition.
Background: A 40 kb ancestral germline duplication upstream of the GREM1 gene was reported in Ashkenazi families with hereditary mixed polyposis syndrome (HMPS). Objective: Assess the contribution of the GREM1 mutation to familial colorectal cancer (CRC) in Ashkenazim. Methods: Jewish Ashkenazi individuals (n = 472 155 males, 317 females) were genotyped for the GREM1 duplication, 194 with CRC, 131 had other cancer types (endometrial, pancreatic and ovarian) that show a syndromic association with CRC, and 147 were cancer-free with a suggestive family history of CRC. Results: One mutation carrier was found who fulfills the Amsterdam criteria for Lynch Syndrome (LS). The prevalence of this mutation amongst LS Ashkenazim is 0·7%. Conclusion: If validated in additional studies it seems rational to recommend to look for the GREM1 founder mutation in Ashkenazi individuals with multiple colorectal polyps and/or fulfill the criteria for LS.
Premature ovarian failure and diminished ovarian reserve have been noted both in female BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers and in carriers of the Fragile X syndrome FMR1 gene CGG repeat size premutation. Based on the observation that BRCA mutation carriers do not harbour long CGG repeats in the FMR1 gene, it was hypothesized that BRCA-associated premature ovarian failure is mediated via FMR1. To test this notion, we evaluated the distribution of constitutional FMR1 genotypes in 188 BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation-positive Jewish Ashkenazi women and 15 708 female, mostly Ashkenazi controls in Israel. BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers displayed a unique distribution of FMR1 genotypes compared with controls (p = 0·018) with a prominence of the shorter CGG alleles (<26 repeats). There was no allele size distribution differences within BRCA carriers when comparing cancer free (n = 95) and breast cancer affected women (n = 93) (p = 0·43). In conclusion, BRCA mutation carriers exhibit a distinct CGG FMR1 repeat size pattern compared with the general population, but it is unlikely to account for the reported diminished ovarian reserve or act as a modifier breast cancer gene in BRCA mutation carriers.
Several breast cancer risk prediction models have been validated in ethnically diverse populations, but none in Israeli high-risk women. To validate the accuracy of the IBIS and BOADICEA risk prediction models in Israeli high-risk women, the 10-year and lifetime risk for developing breast cancer were calculated using both BOADICEA and IBIS models for high-risk, cancer-free women, counselled at the Sheba Medical Center from 1 June 1996–31 May 2000. Women diagnosed with breast cancer by 31 May 2011 were identified from the Israeli National Cancer Registry. The observed to expected breast cancer ratios were calculated to evaluate the predictive value of both algorithms. Overall, 358 mostly (N = 205, 57·2%) Ashkenazi women, were eligible, age range at counselling was 20–75 years (mean 46·76 ± 9·8 years). Over 13·6 ± 1·45 years (range 11–16 years), 15 women (4·19%) were diagnosed with breast cancer, at a mean age of 57 ± 8·6 years. The 10-year risks assigned by BOADICEA and IBIS ranged from 0·2 to 12·6% and 0·89 to 21·7%, respectively. The observed:expected breast cancer ratio was 15/18·6 (0·8–95% CI 0·48–1·33) and 15/28·6 (0·52–95% CI 0·32–0·87), using both models, respectively. In Jewish Israeli high-risk women the BOADICEA model has a better predictive value and accuracy in determining 10-year breast cancer risk than the IBIS model.
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