[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate in current practice the performance of BOADICEA and BRCAPRO risk models and empirical criteria based on cancer family history for the selection of individuals for BRCA genetic testing.
The probability of BRCA mutation according to the three tools was retrospectively estimated in 918 index cases consecutively undergone BRCA testing at 15 Italian cancer genetics clinics between 2006 and 2008.
179 of 918 cases (19.5%) carried BRCA mutations. With the strict use of the criteria based on cancer family history 173 BRCA (21.9%) mutations would have been detected in 789 individuals. At the commonly used 10% threshold of BRCA mutation carrier probability, the genetic models showed a similar performance [PPV (38% and 37%), sensitivity (76% and 77%) and specificity (70% and 69%)]. Their strict use would have avoided around 60% of the tests but would have missed approximately 1 every 4 carriers.
Our data highlight the complexity of BRCA testing referral in routine practice and question the strict use of genetic models for BRCA risk assessment.
Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland) 09/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lynch syndrome is a genetic disease that predisposes to colorectal tumors, caused by mutation in mismatch repair genes. The use of genetic tests to identify mutation carriers does not always give perfectly clear results, as happens when an unclassified variant is found. This study aimed to define the pathogenic role of 35 variants present in MSH2, MLH1, MSH6, and PMS2 genes identified in our 15-year case study.
We collected clinical and molecular data of all carriers, and then we analyzed the variants pathogenic role with web tools and molecular analyses. Using a Bayesian approach, we derived a posterior probability of pathogenicity and classified each variant according to a standardized five-class system.
The MSH2 p.Pro349Arg, p.Met688Arg, the MLH1 p.Gly67Arg, p.Thr82Ala, p.Lys618Ala, the MSH6 p.Ala1236Pro, and the PMS2 p.Arg20Gln were classified as pathogenic, and the MSH2 p.Cys697Arg and the PMS2 p.Ser46Ile were classified as likely pathogenic. Seven variants were likely nonpathogenic, 3 were nonpathogenic, and 16 remained uncertain.
Quantitative assessment of several parameters and their integration in a multifactorial likelihood model is the method of choice for classifying the variants. As such classifications can be associated with surveillance and testing recommendations, the results and the method developed in our study can be useful for helping laboratory geneticists in evaluation of genetic tests and clinicians in the management of carriers.
Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 02/2011; 13(2):115-24. · 3.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An increasing body of evidence points to a possible role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in hereditary cancer syndromes. To evaluate the role of miRNA allelic variants in the susceptibility to familial breast and ovarian cancers in BRCA1/BRCA2-negative patients, we focused our attention on three miRNAs, miR-146a, miR-17 and miR-369, based on their affinity to either BRCA1 or BRCA2 messenger RNA and their localization on chromosome regions commonly deleted in those tumors. The analysis was performed on 101 Italian probands with ascertained familiarity for breast/ovarian cancer and tested negative for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. No allelic variant was detected for hsa-mir-17 and hsa-mir-369, and allelic and genotype frequencies for miR-146a rs2910164 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) were comparable with that of 155 controls from the same population, ruling out a role for genetic variations in these three miRNAs as major determinants in cancer predisposition of BRCA1/BRCA2-negative patients. Instead, our study suggests that mir-146a rs2910164 SNP may impact on the age of cancer onset. In fact, subjects with mir-146a a GC or CC genotypes developed tumors at younger age compared with individuals with the GG genotype Thus, in contrast to a recent report, our data support the hypothesis by Shen and coworkers of an association between the C allele of hsa-mir-146a and early cancer onset and prompt further investigations on the relevance of this polymorphism in early familial breast/ovarian tumor development.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BRCA1 gene-related tumours are more frequently estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) negative with a lower prevalence of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression or amplification. We evaluated the effectiveness of a combination of homogeneously selected criteria and immunohistochemical (IHC) characteristics of Familial Breast Cancers (FBCs) in detecting BRCA1 mutation carriers.
Primary breast tumours from 93 FBC patients defined by specific eligibility criteria, based on personal and familial tumour history, were evaluated by Allred's method. The BRCA1 molecular analysis, including Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA), was considered as the gold standard assay.
A total of 10 BRCA1 pathogenetic mutations was found. With the exclusion of the tumours characterized by double positive receptorial status and/or strong HER2 positivity (3+), we identified 22 patients, 10 of whom resulted as BRCA1 mutation carriers. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were 100%, 83.3%, 45.4% and 100% respectively.
Our findings suggest that the IHC analysis by Allred's method improves our ability to select patients for BRCA1 testing.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of genomic rearrangements of the BRCA1 gene in breast and/or ovarian cancer families has been intensively investigated in patients from various countries over the last years. A number of different rearrangements have been reported by several studies that clearly document the involvement of this mutation type in genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. Population-specific studies are now needed to evaluate the prevalence of genomic rearrangements before deciding whether to include ad hoc screening procedures into standard diagnostic mutation detection approaches. Indeed, the vast majority of the studies have been performed on small, highly selected, sample sets because of the limitations imposed by the laborious technical approaches. Moreover, prevalence figures are likely to differ across different countries according to the ethnic origin of each specific population. Here we analyze a large cohort of 653 Italian probands, negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 point mutations, gathered from four National Institutions. We report the identification of BRCA1 genomic rearrangements in 12 independent families. Noteworthy, half of the probands carry mutations that recur in more than one Italian family. Considering the whole spectrum of Italian BRCA1 gene rearrangements identified thus far in consecutive patients, we estimate that alterations of this type account for 19% (95% CI: 0.11 < 0.19 < 0.28) of the BRCA1 mutation positive families. We conclude that the search for major genomic rearrangements is essential for an accurate and comprehensive BRCA1 mutation detection strategy in Italy.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 09/2006; 45(9):791-7. · 3.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer in men is an infrequent occurrence, accounting for approximately 1% of all breast tumors with an incidence of about 1:100,000. The relative rarity of male breast cancer (MBC) limits our understanding of the epidemiologic, genetic and clinical features of this tumor.
From 1997 to 2003, 10 MBC patients were referred to our Institute for genetic counselling and BRCA1/2 testing. Here we report on the genetic and phenotypic characterization of 10 families with MBC from the North East of Italy. In particular, we wished to assess the occurrence of specific cancer types in relatives of MBC probands in families with and without BRCA2 predisposing mutations. Moreover, families with recurrent BRCA2 mutations were also characterized by haplotype analysis using 5 BRCA2-linked dinucleotide repeat markers and 8 intragenic BRCA2 polymorphisms.
Two pathogenic mutations in the BRCA2 gene were observed: the 9106C>T (Q2960X) and the IVS16-2A>G (splicing) mutations, each in 2 cases. A BRCA1 mutation of uncertain significance 4590C>G (P1491A) was also observed. In families with BRCA2 mutations, female breast cancer was more frequent in the first and second-degree relatives compared to the families with wild type BRCA1/2 (31.9% vs. 8.0% p = 0.001). Reconstruction of the chromosome phasing in three families and the analysis of three isolated cases with the IVS16-2A>G BRCA2 mutation identified the same haplotype associated with MBC, supporting the possibility that this founder mutation previously detected in Slovenian families is also present in the North East of our Country. Moreover, analysis of one family with the 9106C>T BRCA2 mutation allowed the identification of common haplotypes for both microsatellite and intragenic polymorphisms segregating with the mutation. Three isolated cases with the same mutation shared the same intragenic polymorphisms and three 5' microsatellite markers, but showed a different haplotype for 3' markers, which were common to all three cases.
The 9106C>T and the IVS16-2A>G mutations constitute recurrent BRCA2 mutations in MBC cases from the North-East of Italy and may be associated with a founder effect. Knowledge of these two recurrent BRCA2 mutations predisposing to MBC may facilitate the analyses aimed at the identification of mutation carriers in our geographic area.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 show different expressivity with respect to cancer risk, and allelic heterogeneity may be present in both genes. We collected 179 pedigrees with identified germline mutation (104 BRCA1 and 75 BRCA2), ascertained in six collaborating centers of the Italian Consortium for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer. Significant heterogeneity was detected for several variables, and a logistic regression model including age of diagnosis in the proband, presence of ovarian cancer in the family, presence of prostate or pancreatic cancer in the family, and presence of male breast cancer in the family proved to be effective in predicting the presence of a mutation in a gene rather than the other. Excess of familial aggregation of both breast and ovarian cancer was observed in both genes. Proportion of ovarian cancer was increased in the 5' portion of BRCA1, and presence of prostate or pancreatic cancer in a family was correlated with presence of ovarian cancer in BRCA2.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 10/2003; 81(1):71-9. · 4.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study we examined a series of 52 patients belonging to hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) or HNPCC-related families, all who had previously tested negative for mismatch repair (MMR) gene point mutations. Southern blot mutational screening of MLH1 and MSH2 genes was carried out with the aim of detecting large genomic rearrangements and of identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying the inactivation of the MMR genes. Three patients had abnormal restriction patterns and were found to carry distinct MLH1 internal deletions. Long-range PCRs identified the loss of DNA tracts spanning exon 6 (about 2.4 kb in proband A-AV20 and 0.8 kb in proband A-PD5) and exon 3 (about 2.5 kb in proband R-RM2). In A-AV20 the breakpoints occurred into identical 33-bp regions in introns 5 and 6 and a mechanism of classical Alu-mediated homologous recombination was evident. Also, in patient A-PD5 the breakpoints were located in these introns, but without direct involvement of repetitive sequences. In patient R-RM2 the breakpoints were located within repetitive L1 elements with poor homology in intron 2 and 3 and the rearranged allele was characterized by a complex insertion deletion (delCCinsACATAGTA), giving rise to a palindromic CTTAACATAGTATGTTAAG sequence in proximity of the fusion site. This study confirms that genomic rearrangements are an important component of the spectrum of MMR mutations. Although Alu repeats are likely to be implicated in the majority of cases, different molecular mechanisms may also be responsible for the observed MLH1 intragenic deletions. In particular, HNPCC resulting from L1-mediated recombination has been identified as a novel mechanism for MMR inactivating mutation.
Human Mutation 12/2002; 20(5):368-74. · 5.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endometrial carcinoma (EC) is the second most common tumor in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), with an incidence rate of 60% by the age of 70 in mutation carriers. The International Collaborative Group on HNPCC revised the Amsterdam criteria and proposed a new, wider definition including extracolonic cancers. The aim of our study was to evaluate the accuracy of a new definition called Amsterdam criteria II. We updated, reclassified and compared the pedigrees of 29 women, already reported as being affected by EC and having a colorectal cancer familial background, according to the two clinical diagnostic criteria for HNPCC (Amsterdam criteria I, ACI, and Amsterdam criteria II, ACII) after two periods of observation (1990-1995 and 1995-2000). According to ACII the frequency of HNPCC in the population under study increased from 0.9% to 3.7% in the period 1990-1995 and from 3.2% to 3.7% in the period 1995-2000. ACII allowed early detection of HNPCC families and thus made it possible to provide them with a suitable surveillance program and genetic testing.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The heritable defects of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have been shown to predispose to breast and ovarian cancers. In a previous report, we analyzed 46 Italian families with breast and/or ovarian cancer for BRCA1 mutations. In the present study, those families and 11 others were screened for BRCA2 mutations; the newly enrolled families were also analyzed for the BRCA1 gene. The coding region and splice boundaries of BRCA2 and BRCA1 genes were assessed by the protein-truncation test and single-strand conformational polymorphism. A total of 20 different mutations were found in 21 families (37%). A total of 9 families (16%) showed mutations in the BRCA1 gene, including the one new mutation identified in this study (5382insC), and 12 families (21%) presented mutations in the BRCA2 gene. BRCA2-mutated families presented breast and ovarian cancers or breast cancers only, whereas most BRCA1-mutated families presented ovarian cancer alone or in association with breast cancer. All the BRCA2 mutations led to a truncated protein: 6 were frameshift mutations, 4 were non-sense mutations and 2 involved the intronic invariant region leading to splice variants. Therefore, in the Italian population, the cumulative proportion of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations was within the range observed in other studies (37%), with higher involvement of BRCA2 than of BRCA1. Many families in which no mutations were found presented a very high incidence of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Among the 36 BRCA1 and BRCA2 wild-type families, 24 presented at least 4 cancer cases, indicating the existence of other important predisposing genes.
International Journal of Cancer 10/1999; 83(1):5-9. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations affecting human mismatch repair (MMR) genes (MLH1, MSH2, PMS1, PMS2, and MSH6) cause tumour predisposition in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) syndrome, and an association has been demonstrated with the replication error (RER) phenotype in most colorectal and some extracolonic neoplasms. A pathogenetic model for RER+ tumours through inactivation of suppressor genes has been hypothesised, and TGF beta RII, BAX and IGFIIR genes have recently been proposed as targets of such inactivating mutations. In this study, a series of 47 tumours developed in patients with known MLH1/MSH2 status and a family history of HNPCC and/or early onset colorectal cancer were characterised for the RER phenotype through microsatellite analysis. The RER phenotype, displayed by 17 tumours, was then correlated with the presence of insertions/deletions at the TGF beta RII, IGFIIR and BAX gene stretches, confirming that the TGF beta RII inactivation may be particularly critical for the RER-associated tumorigenesis. RER+ colorectal cancers (CRCs) developed more frequently in patients from HNPCC families (72.7%) than in those from families not fulfilling the Amsterdam criteria (33.3% in suspected HNPCC and 20.8% in early onset CRC patients). A consistent fraction of either Amsterdam and non-Amsterdam patients developed RER- CRCs, pointing to the involvement of other genes not related to the MMR system. The RER phenotype was associated with younger age at diagnosis in familial cases, and there was a trend for an association with proximal CRC localisation and early Dukes' stages. The RER status was also correlated with the presence and type of MLH1 and MSH2 alteration.
European Journal of Cancer 03/1999; 35(2):289-95. · 5.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is a genetically heterogeneous disease for which PMS2 gene, a member of the human PMS gene family, is believed to have a marginal role. To better define the contribution of PMS2 to hereditary colorectal cancer, we investigated this gene in 22 unrelated Italian patients that, despite a positive family history and/or early onset and development of tumors with microsatellite instability (MSI), did not carry constitutional mutations of MLH1 and MSH2 genes. No mutations with clear-cut pathogenetic significance were detected in the coding regions of PMS2 gene, but only 8 polymorphisms (7 common and 1 rare, 3 silent and 5 missense) and 3 unique molecular variants (2 missense substitutions and one 3-nucleotide deletion) were seen. Lack of PMS2 truncating mutations in our study does not disagree with its supposed marginal involvement in hereditary colorectal cancer, but at the same time points out the need to investigate the phenotypic molecular and clinical characteristics more specifically associated with PMS2 mutations.
International Journal of Oncology 10/1998; 13(3):565-9. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical and pathological features were evaluated to predict tumor microsatellite instability (MSI) and germline mutations in MLH1 and MSH2 DNA mismatch repair genes in two patient groups with sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC): 38 young patients (age </=45 years) and 31 old patients (age >/=60 years). Nine (25.7%) young patients out of 35 and five (16%) old patients out of 31 exhibited MSI in their cancers. MSI+ cancers were related to proximal cancer and mucinous carcinoma independently of the age at cancer onset. Three (7.9%) out of 38 young patients had mutations in MLH1 and MSH2 genes that led to truncated protein products; they were all at age <35 years and showed MSI in their tumors, with mucinous histotype in two cases. In conclusion, histopathological and clinical features of CRC allow identification of cancers showing DNA microsatellite instability. MSI in CRC at very early onset (age <35 years) appears useful to predict germline MMR gene defects.