[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identification of tumour predisposition syndromes in patients who have cancer in childhood is paramount for optimal care. A screening instrument that can help to identify such patients will facilitate physicians caring for children with cancer. The complete screening instrument should consist of a standardised series of pictures and a screening form for manifestations not visible in the pictures. Here we describe the development of such a screening form based on an international two-stage Delphi process and an initial validation of the complete instrument.
We identified manifestations that may contribute to the diagnosis of a tumour predisposition syndrome through the Winter-Baraitser Dysmorphology Database and the textbook "Gorlin's Syndromes of the Head and Neck". In a two-round Delphi process, eight international content-experts scored the contribution of each of these manifestations. We performed a clinical validation of the instrument in a selected cohort of 10 paediatric cancer patients from another centre.
In total, 49 manifestations were found to contribute to the diagnosis of a tumour predisposition syndrome and were included in the screening form. The pilot validation study showed that patients suspected of having a tumour predisposition syndrome were recognised. Excellent correlation for indications of patient's referral between the screening instrument and the reference standard (personal evaluation by an experienced clinical geneticist) was found.
The Delphi process performed by international specialists with a function as opinion leaders in their field of expertise, has led to a screening instrument for childhood cancer patients. Patients who may have a tumour predisposition syndrome and thus have an indication to be referred for further genetic analysis, can be identified using the screening instrument.
European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 07/2013; · 4.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: -Loss-of-function mutations in CHD7 cause CHARGE syndrome, a variable combination of multiple congenital malformations including heart defects. Heart defects are reported in 66%-92% of patients with a CHD7 mutation, but most studies are small and do not provide a detailed classification of the defects. We present the first, detailed, descriptive study on the cardiac phenotype of 299 patients with a CHD7 mutation and discuss the role of CHD7 in cardiac development. METHODS AND RESULTS: -We have collected information on congenital heart defects in 299 patients with a pathogenic CHD7 mutation of whom 220 (74%) had a congenital heart defect. Detailed information on the heart defects was available for 202 of these patients. We classified the heart defects based on embryonic cardiac development and compared the distribution to 1,007 equally classified non-syndromic heart defects of patients registered by EUROCAT, a European Registry of Congenital Anomalies. Heart defects are highly variable in patients with CHD7 mutations, but atrioventricular septal defects (AVSD) and conotruncal heart defects are overrepresented. Gender did not have an effect on the presence of heart defects, but truncating CHD7 mutations resulted in a heart defect significantly more often than missense or splice-site mutations (chi-square, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: -CHD7 plays a very important role in cardiac development because we found a wide range of heart defects in 74% of a large cohort of patients with a CHD7 mutation. Conotruncal defects and AVSDs are overrepresented in patients with CHD7 mutations compared to patients with non-syndromic heart defects.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An international group of clinicians working in the field of dysmorphology has initiated the standardization of terms used to describe human morphology. The goals are to standardize these terms and reach consensus regarding their definitions. In this way, we will increase the utility of descriptions of the human phenotype and facilitate reliable comparisons of findings among patients. Discussions with other workers in dysmorphology and related fields, such as developmental biology and molecular genetics, will become more precise. Here we introduce the anatomy of the male and female genitalia, and define and illustrate the terms that describe the major characteristics of these body regions. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 05/2013; · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a well known malformation syndrome for which five causative genes are known, accounting for ∼55-65% of cases. In this study, we hypothesised that mosaicism might explain some of the ∼35-45% of cases without detectable mutation in DNA derived from lymphocytes; we investigated the frequency of NIPBL mutations in buccal cells in individuals negative for mutations in any of the five genes in lymphocytes; and we evaluated the efficiency of obtaining DNA from buccal swabs and the best strategy for optimal mutation detection in CdLS. METHODS: Buccal swabs were obtained from eight mutation positive and 13 mutation negative individuals with clinically diagnosed CdLS, following informed consent. We then forwarded instructions and a single mouth swab to the families; if subsequently insufficient DNA was obtained, we re-sent two mouth swabs. Buccal cells were screened for NIPBL mutations using Sanger sequencing techniques. RESULTS: Sufficient DNA for analysis was obtained in 21/22 individuals. In all six tested individuals with a known NIPBL mutation and in two with a known SMC1A mutation, the mutation was confirmed in buccal cells. In 10 of the 13 tested individuals without detectable mutation in lymphocytes a NIPBL mutation could be detected in buccal cells. Clinically there were no significant differences between patients with a germline and mosaic NIPBL mutation. CONCLUSIONS: Somatic mosaicism for an NIPBL mutation is frequent (10/44; 23%) clinically in reliably diagnosed CdLS individuals. Obtaining buccal swabs at the time a blood sample is obtained will facilitate adequate molecular analysis of clinically diagnosed CdLS patients.
Journal of Medical Genetics 03/2013; · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of syndromes in children with cancer. We described four patterns of co-occurring morphological abnormalities indicating new tumour predisposition syndromes. These patterns were named after their key-abnormalities: blepharophimosis (BP), epicanthal folds (EF), asymmetric lower limbs (LLA) and Sydney creases (SC) pattern. The purpose of our study was to identify structural genomic variants possibly involved in these tumour predisposition syndromes. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In 49 probands (13 from BP, nine from EF, 20 from LLA and seven from SC patterns respectively) karyotyping was performed. Copy number variation (CNV) in genomic DNA of the probands was analysed to detect microdeletions/-duplications using SNP array. FISH and quantitative-polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) experiments were done to validate events identified by cytogenetic and CNV analysis. RESULTS: Cytogenetic analysis showed an inherited inversion of chromosome 15, inv(15) (q25q26) in a proband with LLA-pattern. Evaluation of the genes at the breakpoints made it unlikely that these explained the phenotype and tumour in this patient. Eleven CNV events met our inclusion criteria; three inherited CNV events involved an oncogene. A duplication involving BCL9 was identified in a proband diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma. A duplication involving PCM1 was identified in a proband diagnosed with pre-B-ALL. Both probands showed the EF-pattern of morphological abnormalities. A deletion involving TRA@ was identified in two probands from the BP-pattern diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma and pre-B-ALL respectively. CONCLUSIONS: We report on structural genomic variants in paediatric cancer patients with newly recognised tumour predisposition syndromes. We identify three CNV events which we suggest to be susceptibility loci.
European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 03/2013; · 4.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Jeune asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy (JATD) is a rare, often lethal, recessively inherited chondrodysplasia characterised by shortened ribs and long bones, sometimes accompanied by polydactyly, and renal, liver and retinal disease. Mutations in intraflagellar transport (IFT) genes cause JATD, including the IFT dynein-2 motor subunit gene DYNC2H1. Genetic heterogeneity and the large DYNC2H1 gene size have hindered JATD genetic diagnosis. AIMS AND METHODS: To determine the contribution to JATD we screened DYNC2H1 in 71 JATD patients JATD patients combining SNP mapping, Sanger sequencing and exome sequencing. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: We detected 34 DYNC2H1 mutations in 29/71 (41%) patients from 19/57 families (33%), showing it as a major cause of JATD especially in Northern European patients. This included 13 early protein termination mutations (nonsense/frameshift, deletion, splice site) but no patients carried these in combination, suggesting the human phenotype is at least partly hypomorphic. In addition, 21 missense mutations were distributed across DYNC2H1 and these showed some clustering to functional domains, especially the ATP motor domain. DYNC2H1 patients largely lacked significant extra-skeletal involvement, demonstrating an important genotype-phenotype correlation in JATD. Significant variability exists in the course and severity of the thoracic phenotype, both between affected siblings with identical DYNC2H1 alleles and among individuals with different alleles, which suggests the DYNC2H1 phenotype might be subject to modifier alleles, non-genetic or epigenetic factors. Assessment of fibroblasts from patients showed accumulation of anterograde IFT proteins in the ciliary tips, confirming defects similar to patients with other retrograde IFT machinery mutations, which may be of undervalued potential for diagnostic purposes.
Journal of Medical Genetics 03/2013; · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coffin-Lowry syndrome (CLS) is an X-linked disorder characterized by growth and psychomotor retardation, hypotonia and progressive skeletal changes. RPS6KA3 is the only gene known to be associated with CLS, and over 150 distinct inactivating mutations in this gene have so far been reported in CLS patients. However, no defect is found in about half of the CLS compatible patients by exon sequencing. We report here the first deep intronic mutation in RPS6KA3, which is associated with the retention of intronic sequences in the mRNAs. Indeed, this finding suggests that all the patients with a highly suggestive CLS clinical diagnosis, but in whom exon screening has failed to detect a mutation, should be reanalyzed at the RNA level.
European journal of medical genetics 12/2012; · 1.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kohlschütter-Tönz syndrome (KTS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by amelogenesis imperfecta, psychomotor delay or regression and seizures starting early in childhood. KTS was established as a distinct clinical entity after the first report by Kohlschütter in 1974, and, to date, only a total of 20 pedigrees have been reported. The genetic aetiology of KTS remained elusive until recently when mutations in ROGDI were independently identified in three unrelated families and in five likely related Druze families. Herein, we report a clinical and genetic study of 10 KTS families. By using a combination of whole exome sequencing, linkage analysis and Sanger sequencing we identify novel homozygous or compound heterozygous ROGDI mutations in five families, all presenting with a typical KTS phenotype. The other families, mostly presenting with additional atypical features, were negative for ROGDI mutations, suggesting genetic heterogeneity of atypical forms of the disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many pathogenic structural variants of the human genome are known to cause facial dysmorphism. During the past decade, pathogenic structural variants have also been found to be an important class of genetic risk factor for epilepsy. In other fields, face shape has been assessed objectively using 3D stereophotogrammetry and dense surface models. We hypothesized that computer-based analysis of 3D face images would detect subtle facial abnormality in people with epilepsy who carry pathogenic structural variants as determined by chromosome microarray. In 118 children and adults attending three European epilepsy clinics, we used an objective measure called Face Shape Difference to show that those with pathogenic structural variants have a significantly more atypical face shape than those without such variants. This is true when analysing the whole face, or the periorbital region or the perinasal region alone. We then tested the predictive accuracy of our measure in a second group of 63 patients. Using a minimum threshold to detect face shape abnormalities with pathogenic structural variants, we found high sensitivity (4/5, 80% for whole face; 3/5, 60% for periorbital and perinasal regions) and specificity (45/58, 78% for whole face and perinasal regions; 40/58, 69% for periorbital region). We show that the results do not seem to be affected by facial injury, facial expression, intellectual disability, drug history or demographic differences. Finally, we use bioinformatics tools to explore relationships between facial shape and gene expression within the developing forebrain. Stereophotogrammetry and dense surface models are powerful, objective, non-contact methods of detecting relevant face shape abnormalities. We demonstrate that they are useful in identifying atypical face shape in adults or children with structural variants, and they may give insights into the molecular genetics of facial development.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a large Dutch family with seven males affected by a novel syndrome of X-linked intellectual disability, hypogonadism, gynaecomastia, truncal obesity, short stature and recognisable craniofacial manifestations resembling but not identical to Wilson-Turner syndrome. Seven female relatives show a much milder expression of the phenotype.
We performed X chromosome exome (X-exome) sequencing in five individuals from this family and identified a novel intronic variant in the histone deacetylase 8 gene (HDAC8), c.164+5G>A, which disturbs the normal splicing of exon 2 resulting in exon skipping, and introduces a premature stop at the beginning of the histone deacetylase catalytic domain. The identified variant completely segregates in this family and was absent in 96 Dutch controls and available databases. Affected female carriers showed a notably skewed X-inactivation pattern in lymphocytes in which the mutated X-chromosome was completely inactivated.
HDAC8 is a member of the protein family of histone deacetylases that play a major role in epigenetic gene silencing during development. HDAC8 specifically controls the patterning of the skull with the mouse HDAC8 knock-out showing craniofacial deformities of the skull. The present family provides the first evidence for involvement of HDAC8 in a syndromic form of intellectual disability.
Journal of Medical Genetics 08/2012; 49(8):539-43. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: From data collected via a large international collaborative study, we have constructed a growth chart for patients with molecularly confirmed congenital spondylo-epiphyseal dysplasia (SEDC) and other COL2A1 related dysplasias. The growth chart is based on longitudinal height measurements of 79 patients with glycine substitutions in the triple-helical domain of COL2A1. In addition, measurements of 27 patients with other molecular defects, such as arginine to cysteine substitutions, splice mutations, and mutations in the C-terminal propeptide have been plotted on the chart. Height of the patients progressively deviate from that of normal children: compared to normal WHO charts, the mean length/height is -2.6 SD at birth, -4.2 SD at 5 years, and -5.8 SD in adulthood. The mean adult height (male and female combined) of patients with glycine substitutions in the triple-helical region is 138.2 cm but there is a large variation. Patients with glycine to cysteine substitutions tend to cluster within the upper part of the chart, while patients with glycine to serine or valine substitutions are situated between +1 SD and -1 SD. Patients with carboxy-terminal glycine substitutions tend to be shorter than patients with amino-terminal substitutions, while patients with splice mutations are relatively tall. However, there are exceptions and specific mutations can have a strong or a relatively mild negative effect on growth. The observation of significant difference in adult height between affected members of the same family indicates that height remains a multifactorial trait even in the presence of a mutation with a strong dominant effect.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C Seminars in Medical Genetics 07/2012; 160C(3):205-16. · 4.44 Impact Factor