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Constitutional cytogenetic analysis in men with hereditary testicular germ cell tumor: no evidence of disease-related abnormalities.

Clinical Genetics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, 6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS 7101, Rockville, MD 20852-7231, USA.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (Impact Factor: 4.32). 01/2008; 16(12):2791-4. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-0521
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    ABSTRACT: Testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) is the most common malignancy in young men. Familial clustering, epidemiologic evidence of increased risk with family or personal history, and the association of TGCT with genitourinary (GU) tract anomalies have suggested an underlying genetic predisposition. Linkage data have not identified a rare, highly-penetrant, single gene in familial TGCT (FTGCT) cases. Based on its association with congenital GU tract anomalies and suggestions that there is an intrauterine origin to TGCT, we hypothesized the existence of unrecognized dysmorphic features in FTGCT. We evaluated 38 FTGCT individuals and 41 first-degree relatives from 22 multiple-case families with detailed dysmorphology examinations, physician-based medical history and physical examination, laboratory testing, and genitourinary imaging studies. The prevalence of major abnormalities and minor variants did not significantly differ between either FTGCT individuals or their first-degree relatives when compared with normal population controls, except for tall stature, macrocephaly, flat midface, and retro-/micrognathia. However, these four traits were not manifest as a constellation of features in any one individual or family. We did detect an excess prevalence of the genitourinary anomalies cryptorchidism and congenital inguinal hernia in our population, as previously described in sporadic TGCT, but no congenital renal, retroperitoneal or mediastinal anomalies were detected. Overall, our study did not identify a constellation of dysmorphic features in FTGCT individuals, which is consistent with results of genetic studies suggesting that multiple low-penetrance genes are likely responsible for FTGCT susceptibility.
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    ABSTRACT: Familial aggregations of testicular germ cell tumor (FTGCT) have been well described, suggesting the existence of a hereditary TGCT subset. Approximately 1.4% of newly diagnosed TGCT patients report a positive family history of TGCT. Sons and siblings of TGCT patients have four- to sixfold and eight- to tenfold increases in TGCT risk respectively. Segregation analyses suggest an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Linkage analyses have identified several genomic regions of modest interest, although no high-penetrance cancer susceptibility gene has been mapped yet. These data suggest that the combined effects of multiple common alleles, each conferring modest risk, might underlie familial testicular cancer. Families display a mild phenotype: the most common number of affected families is 2. Age at diagnosis is 2-3 years younger for familial versus sporadic cases. The ratio of familial seminoma to nonseminoma is 1.0. FTGCT is more likely to be bilateral than sporadic TGCT. This syndrome is cancer site specific. Testicular microlithiasis is a newly recognized FTGCT component. Candidate gene-association studies have implicated the Y chromosome gr/gr deletion and PDE11A gene mutations as genetic modifiers of FTGCT risk. Two genomewide association studies of predominantly sporadic but also familial cases of TGCT have implicated the KIT-ligand, SPRY4, and BAK1 genes as TGCT risk modifiers. All five loci are involved in normal testicular development and/or male infertility. These genetic data provide a novel insight into the genetic basis of FTGCT, and an invaluable guide to future TGCT research.
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    ABSTRACT: This Review summarizes the cumulative results of the National Cancer Institute Clinical Genetics Branch Multidisciplinary Etiologic Study of Familial Testicular Germ Cell Tumors (FTGCT). Initiated 12 years ago, this protocol enrolled 724 subjects from 147 unrelated families with either ≥2 affected men (n = 90) with TGCT or a proband with bilateral TGCT and a negative family history for this cancer (n = 57). Data were collected directly from 162 subjects evaluated at the NIH Clinical Center, and 562 subjects provided information from their home communities (Field Cohort). The primary study aims included (i) ascertaining, enrolling eligible FTGCT kindred, (ii) characterizing the clinical phenotype of multiple-case families, (iii) identifying the underlying genetic mechanism for TGCT susceptibility in families, (iv) evaluating counseling, psychosocial, and behavioral issues resulting from membership in an FTGCT family, and (v) creating an annotated biospecimen repository to permit subsequent translational research studies. Noteworthy findings include (i) documenting the epidemiologic similarities between familial and sporadic TGCT, (ii) demonstrating significantly younger age-at-diagnosis for familial vs. sporadic TGCT, (iii) absence of a dysmorphic phenotype in affected family members, (iv) shifting the focus of gene discovery from a search for rare, highly penetrant susceptibility variants to the hypothesis that multiple, more common, lower penetrance genes underlie TGCT genetic risk, (v) implicating testicular microlithiasis in FTGCT risk, and (vi) observing that aberrant methylation may contribute to FTGCT risk. A clinically based, biospecimen-intensive, multidisciplinary research strategy has provided novel, valuable insights into the etiology of FTGCT, and created a research resource which will support FTGCT clinical and laboratory studies for years to come.
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