[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is usually characterised by the appearance of hundreds-to-thousands of adenomas throughout the colon and rectum and if left untreated the condition will develop into CRC with close to 100% penetrance. Germline mutations in the APC gene, which plays an integral role in the Wnt-signalling pathway, have been found to be responsible for 70-90% of FAP cases. Several studies suggest that modifier genes may play an important role in the development of CRC and possible modifiers for FAP have been suggested. Interestingly, a study has found that SNPs within ATP5A1 is associated with raised levels of ATP5A1 expression and high expression levels may facilitate CRC development. We aimed to determine if SNPs in ATP5A1 modify the risk of developing CRC/adenomas in FAP patients.
Genomic DNA from 139 Australian FAP patients with a germline APC mutation underwent genotyping at the Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) utilising iPLEX GOLD chemistry with Sequenom MassArray on an Autoflex Spectrometer for 16 SNPs in the ATP5A1 gene. Association between ages of diagnosis/risk of CRC/adenomas was tested with Kaplan-Meier estimator analysis, logistic regression and cox proportional hazard regression.
An association between age of diagnosis of CRC and genotypes was observed for SNP rs2578189 (p = 0.0014), with individuals harbouring the variant genotype developing CRC 29 years earlier than individuals harbouring the wildtype genotype. Individuals harbouring the variant genotype of SNP rs2578189 were also at increased risk of CRC (HR = 13.79, 95% CI = 2.36-80.64, p = 0.004). We used an independent Dutch FAP cohort (n = 427) to validate our results; no association between SNP rs2578189 and CRC was observed.
These results highlight the difficulties in studying a disease that has a high degree of intervention and also emphasize the importance of large sample sizes when searching for modifier genes in patients with an inherited predisposition to disease. To fully determine if there are genetic modifiers of disease in FAP we would encourage people that are interested in collaborating in future studies into the role of modifier genes in disease expression in FAP to join forces.
Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice 12/2013; 11(1):20. · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clinical classification of hereditary sequence variants identified in disease-related genes directly affects clinical management of patients and their relatives. The International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours (InSiGHT) undertook a collaborative effort to develop, test and apply a standardized classification scheme to constitutional variants in the Lynch syndrome–associated genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2. Unpublished data submission was encouraged to assist in variant classification and was recognized through microattribution. The scheme was refined by multidisciplinary expert committee review of the clinical and functional data available for variants, applied to 2,360 sequence alterations, and disseminated online. Assessment using validated criteria altered classifications for 66% of 12,006 database entries. Clinical recommendations based on transparent evaluation are now possible for 1,370 variants that were not obviously protein truncating from nomenclature. This large-scale endeavor will facilitate the consistent management of families suspected to have Lynch syndrome and demonstrates the value of multidisciplinary collaboration in the curation and classification of variants in public locus-specific databases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colorectal adenomatous polyposis is associated with a high risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and is frequently caused by germline mutations in APC or MUTYH. However, in about 20-30% of patients no underlying gene defect can be identified. In this study, we tested if recently identified CRC risk variants play a role in patients with >10 adenomas.
We analysed a total of 16 SNPs with a reported association with CRC in a cohort of 252 genetically unexplained index patients with >10 colorectal adenomas and 745 controls. In addition, we collected detailed clinical information from index patients and their first-degree relatives (FDRs).
We found a statistically significant association with two of the variants tested: rs3802842 (at chromosome 11q23, OR=1.60, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.0) and rs4779584 (at chromosome 15q13, OR=1.50, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.9). The majority of index patients (84%) had between 10 and 100 adenomas and 15% had >100 adenomas. Only two index patients (1%), both with >100 adenomas, had FDRs with polyposis. Forty-one per cent of the index patients had one or more FDRs with CRC.
These SNPs are the first common, low-penetrant variants reported to be associated with adenomatous polyposis not caused by a defect in the APC, MUTYH, POLD1 and POLE genes. Even though familial occurrence of polyposis was very rare, CRC was over-represented in FDRs of polyposis patients and, if confirmed, these relatives will therefore benefit from surveillance.
Journal of Medical Genetics 11/2013; · 5.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lynch syndrome (LS), one of the most frequent forms of hereditary colorectal cancer (CRC), is caused by a defect in one of the mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Carriers of MMR defects have a strongly increased risk of developing CRC and endometrial cancer. Over the last few years, value-based healthcare has been introduced as an approach to the cost-effective delivery of measurable patient value over complete cycles of care. This requires all involved stakeholders to formulate and validate 'patient value' for Lynch syndrome, as well as to identify targets and associated costs. The aim of this study was to develop a value-based care model for Lynch syndrome that can determine patient value and associated costs, and to design a coordinated care pathway from existing guidelines. All specialists in our hospital involved in the management of LS patients evaluated the care delivered to these patients at their department and formulated outcome measures relevant to patient value. Patients were then invited to complete a questionnaire that assessed the importance of these measures on a scale of 1-10. Six high-value outcomes were identified: (1) prevention of cancer or detection of early stage cancer (2) rapid results from MMR gene mutation testing (3) rapid investigation of the colon and uterus (4) no/little pain during colonoscopy and gynaecologic examination/biopsy (5) the offer of psychological help and (6) registration with the Dutch Lynch syndrome registry. A total of 38 (59 %) out of 62 patients completed the questionnaire. The relevance of all outcomes was confirmed by the patients and mean scores varied from 7.2 to 9.9. Patients underscored the relevance of both proper patient education and the efficiency of surveillance during their care cycle. Value-based care delivery for Lynch syndrome includes the implementation of six parameters related to prevention and early detection of cancer, a short cycle time and registration to ensure continuation of care. Estimated costs are 3320 for the first cycle of care ( 3550 including gynaecologic surveillance) and approximately 720 per subsequent annual cycle ( 950 including gynaecologic surveillance).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the absence of a polyposis phenotype, colorectal cancer (CRC) patients referred for genetic testing because of early-onset disease and/or a positive family history, typically undergo testing for molecular signs of Lynch syndrome in their tumors. In the absence of these signs, DNA testing for germline mutations associated with other known tumor syndromes is usually not performed. However, a few studies in large series of CRC patients suggest that in a small percentage of CRC cases, bi-allelic MUTYH germline mutations can be found in the absence of the MUTYH-associated polyposis phenotype. This has not been studied in the Dutch population. Therefore, we analyzed the MUTYH gene for mutations in 89 patients with microsatellite-low or stable CRC cancer diagnosed before the age of 40 years or otherwise meeting the Bethesda criteria, all of them without a polyposis phenotype. In addition, we studied a series of 693 non-CRC patients with 1-13 adenomatous colorectal polyps for the MUTYH hotspot mutations Y179C, G396D and P405L. No bi-allelic MUTYH mutations were observed. Our data suggest that the contribution of bi-allelic MUTYH mutations to the development of CRC in Dutch non-polyposis patients that meet clinical genetic referral criteria, and to the development of low number of colorectal adenomas in non-CRC patients, is likely to be low.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two colorectal cancer (CRC) susceptibility loci have been found to be significantly associated with an increased risk of CRC in Dutch Lynch syndrome (LS) patients. Recently, in a combined study of Australian and Polish LS patients, only MLH1 mutation carriers were found to be at increased risk of disease. A combined analysis of the three data-sets was performed to better define this association. This cohort-study includes three sample populations combined totaling 1,352 individuals from 424 families with a molecular diagnosis of LS. Seven SNPs, from six different CRC susceptibility loci, were genotyped by both research groups and the data analyzed collectively. We identified associations at two of the six CRC susceptibility loci in MLH1 mutation carriers from the combined LS cohort: 11q23.1 (rs3802842, HR = 2.68, p ≤ 0.0001) increasing risk of CRC, and rs3802842 in a pair-wise combination with 8q23.3 (rs16892766) affecting age of diagnosis of CRC (log-rank test; p ≤ 0.0001). A significant difference in the age of diagnosis of CRC of 28 years was observed in individuals carrying three risk alleles compared to those with 0 risk alleles for the pair-wise SNP combination. A trend (due to significance threshold of p ≤ 0.0010) was observed in MLH1 mutation carriers towards an increased risk of CRC for the pair-wise combination (p = 0.002). This study confirms the role of modifier loci in LS. We consider that LS patients with MLH1 mutations would greatly benefit from additional genotyping of SNPs rs3802842 and rs16892766 for personalized risk assessment and a tailored surveillance program.
International Journal of Cancer 09/2012; · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary paraganglioma is a benign tumor syndrome with an age-dependent penetrance. Carriers of germline mutations in the SDHB or SDHD genes may develop parasympathetic paragangliomas in the head and neck region or sympathetic catecholamine-secreting abdominal and thoracic paragangliomas (pheochromocytomas). In this study, we aimed to establish paraganglioma risk in 101 asymptomatic germline mutation carriers and evaluate the results of our surveillance regimen. Asymptomatic carriers of an SDHD or SDHB mutation were included once disease status was established by MRI diagnosis. Clinical surveillance revealed a head and neck paraganglioma in 28 of the 47 (59.6%) asymptomatic SDHD mutation carriers. Risk of tumor development was significantly lower in SDHB mutation carriers: 2/17 (11.8%, P=0.001). Sympathetic paragangliomas were encountered in two SDHD mutation carriers and in one SDHB mutation carrier. In conclusion, asymptomatic carriers of an SDHD mutation are at a high risk for occult parasympathetic paraganglioma. SDHB carrier risk is considerably lower, consistent with lower penetrance of SDHB mutations. For both syndromes, the risk of symptomless sympathetic paragangliomas is small.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 5 September 2012; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.203.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 09/2012; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pheochromocytomas (PCC) and paragangliomas (PGL) are genetically heterogeneous neural crest-derived neoplasms. Recently we identified germline mutations in a new tumor suppressor susceptibility gene, MAX (MYC-associated factor X), which predisposes carriers to PCC. How MAX mutations contribute to PCC/PGL and associated phenotypes remain unclear. This study aimed to examine the prevalence and associated phenotypic features of germline and somatic MAX mutations in PCC/PGL. Design: We sequenced MAX in 1,694 patients with PCC or PGL (without mutations in other major susceptibility genes) from 17 independent referral centers. We screened for large deletions/duplications in 1,535 patients using a multiplex PCR-based method. Somatic mutations were searched for in tumors from an additional 245 patients. The frequency and type of MAX mutation was assessed overall and by clinical characteristics.
Sixteen MAX pathogenic mutations were identified in 23 index patients. All had adrenal tumors, including 13 bilateral or multiple PCCs within the same gland (P < 0.001), 15.8% developed additional tumors at thoracoabdominal sites, and 37% had familial antecedents. Age at diagnosis was lower (P = 0.001) in MAX mutation carriers compared with nonmutated cases. Two patients (10.5%) developed metastatic disease. A mutation affecting MAX was found in five tumors, four of them confirmed as somatic (1.65%). MAX tumors were characterized by substantial increases in normetanephrine, associated with normal or minor increases in metanephrine.
Germline mutations in MAX are responsible for 1.12% of PCC/PGL in patients without evidence of other known mutations and should be considered in the genetic work-up of these patients.
Clinical Cancer Research 03/2012; 18(10):2828-37. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterozygous germline mutations in the mismatch repair gene PMS2 predispose carriers for Lynch syndrome, an autosomal dominant predisposition to cancer. Here, we present a LINE-1-mediated retrotranspositional insertion in PMS2 as a novel mutation type for Lynch syndrome. This insertion, detected with Southern blot analysis in the genomic DNA of the patient, is characterized as a 2.2 kb long 5' truncated SVA_F element. The insertion is not detectable by current diagnostic testing limited to MLPA and direct Sanger sequencing on genomic DNA. The molecular nature of this insertion could only be resolved in RNA from cultured lymphocytes in which nonsense-mediated RNA decay was inhibited. Our report illustrates the technical problems encountered in the detection of this mutation type. Especially large heterozygous insertions will remain unnoticed because of preferential amplification of the smaller wild-type allele in genomic DNA, and are probably underreported in the mutation spectra of autosomal dominant disorders.
Human Mutation 03/2012; 33(7):1051-5. · 5.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lynch syndrome colorectal cancers often lose human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I expression. The outgrowth of clones with immune evasive phenotypes is thought to be positively selected by the action of cytotoxic T cells that target HLA class I-positive cancer cells. To investigate this hypothesis, we related the type and density of tumor lymphocytic infiltrate in Lynch colorectal cancers with their HLA class I phenotype and clinicopathologic stage.
HLA class I expression was assessed by means of immunohistochemistry. Characterization of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes was carried out by using a triple immunofluorescence procedure that allowed the simultaneous detection of CD3-, CD8-, and granzyme B (GZMB)-positive cells. Additional markers were also used for further characterization of an elusive CD3(-)/CD8(-)/GZMB(+) cell population.
We discovered that high tumor infiltration by activated CD8(+) T cells correlated with aberrant HLA class I expression and associated with early tumor stages (P < 0.05). CD8(+) T cells were most abundant in HLA class I heterogeneous tumors (P = 0.02) and frequent in HLA class I-negative cases (P = 0.04) when compared with HLA class I-positive carcinomas. An elusive immune cell population (CD45(+)/CD8(-)/CD56(-)/GZMB(+)) was characteristic for HLA class I-negative tumors lacking lymph node metastases (P < 0.01).
The immune system assumes an important role in counteracting the progression of Lynch colorectal cancers and in selecting abnormal HLA class I phenotypes. Our findings support the development of clinical strategies that explore the natural antitumor immune responses occurring in Lynch syndrome carriers.
Clinical Cancer Research 03/2012; 18(5):1237-45. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The MUTYH gene is involved in base excision repair. MUTYH mutations predispose to recessively inherited colorectal polyposis and cancer. Here, we evaluate an association with breast cancer (BC), following up our previous finding of an elevated BC frequency among Dutch bi-allelic MUTYH mutation carriers. A case–control study was performed comparing 1,469 incident BC patients (ORIGO cohort), 471 individuals displaying features suggesting a genetic predisposition for BC, but without a detectable BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation (BRCAx cohort), and 1,666 controls. First, for 303 consecutive patients diagnosed before age 55 years and/or with multiple primary breast tumors, the MUTYH coding region and flanking introns were sequenced. The remaining subjects were genotyped for five coding variants, p.Tyr179Cys, p.Arg309Cys, p.Gly396Asp, p.Pro405Leu, and p.Ser515Phe, and four tagging SNPs, c.37-2487G>T, p.Val22Met, c.504+35G>A, and p.Gln338His. No bi-allelic pathogenic MUTYH mutations were identified. The pathogenic variant p.Gly396Asp and the variant of uncertain significance p.Arg309Cys occurred twice as frequently in BRCAx subjects as compared to incident BC patients and controls (p=0.13 and p=0.15, respectively). The likely benign variant p.Val22Met occurred less frequently in patients from the incident BC (p=0.03) and BRCAx groups (p=0.11), respectively, as compared to the controls. Minor allele genotypes of several MUTYH variants showed trends towards association with lobular BC histology. This extensive case–control study could not confirm previously reported associations of MUTYH variants with BC, although it was too small to exclude subtle effects on BC susceptibility.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 02/2012; 134(1):219-27. · 4.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Head and neck paragangliomas (HNPGL) are associated with mutations in genes encoding subunits of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH). The aim of this study was to evaluate SDH mutations, family history and phenotypes of patients with HNPGL in the Netherlands.
We evaluated the clinical data and the mutation status of 236 patients referred between 1950 and 2009 to Leiden University Medical Center.
The large majority of the patients carried mutations in SDHD (83%), and the p.Asp92Tyr Dutch founder mutation in SDHD alone accounted for 72% of all patients with HNPGL. A mutation in SDHAF2 was found in 4%, mutations in SDHB in 3% and a mutation in SDHC was identified in a single patient (0·4%). Over 80% of patients presented with positive family history, of whom 99·5% carried a mutation in an SDH gene. SDH mutations were also found in 56% of isolated patients, chiefly in SDHD (46%), but also in SDHB (8%) and SDHC (2%). The clinical parameters of these different subgroups are discussed: including the age at diagnosis, associated pheochromocytomas, tumour multifocality and malignancy rate.
The majority of Dutch patients with HNPGL present with a positive family history, in contrast to other European countries. The clinical characteristics of patients with HNPGL are chiefly determined by founder mutations in SDHD, the major causative gene in both familial and isolated patients with HNPGL. The high frequency of founder mutations in SDHD suggests a higher absolute prevalence of paraganglioma syndrome in the Netherlands.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bi-allelic germline mutations of one of the DNA mismatch repair genes, so far predominantly found in PMS2, cause constitutional MMR-deficiency syndrome. This rare disorder is characterised by paediatric intestinal cancer and other malignancies. We report the clinical, immunohistochemical and genetic characterisation of four families with bi-allelic germline PMS2 mutations. We present an overview of the published gastrointestinal manifestations of CMMR-D syndrome and propose recommendations for gastro-intestinal screening.
The first proband developed a cerebral angiosarcoma at age 2 and two colorectal adenomas at age 7. Genetic testing identified a complete PMS2 gene deletion and a frameshift c.736_741delinsTGTGTGTGAAG (p.Pro246CysfsX3) mutation. In the second family, both the proband and her brother had multiple intestinal adenomas, initially wrongly diagnosed as familial adenomatous polyposis. A splice site c.2174+1G>A, and a missense c.137G>T (p.Ser46Ile) mutation in PMS2 were identified. The third patient was diagnosed with multiple colorectal adenomas at age 11; he developed a high-grade dysplastic colorectal adenocarcinoma at age 21. Two intragenic PMS2 deletions were found. The fourth proband developed a cerebral anaplastic ganglioma at age 9 and a high-grade colerectal dysplastic adenoma at age 10 and carries a homozygous c.2174+1G>A mutation. Tumours of all patients showed microsatellite instability and/or loss of PMS2 expression.
Our findings show the association between bi-allelic germline PMS2 mutations and severe childhood-onset gastrointestinal manifestations, and support the notion that patients with early-onset gastrointestinal adenomas and cancer should be investigated for CMMR-D syndrome. We recommend yearly follow-up with colonoscopy from age 6 and simultaneous video-capsule small bowel enteroscopy from age 8.
European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 03/2011; 47(7):965-82. · 4.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Human Variome Project (HVP) has established a pilot program with the International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours (InSiGHT) to compile all inherited variation affecting colon cancer susceptibility genes. An HVP-InSiGHT Workshop was held on May 10, 2010, prior to the HVP Integration and Implementation Meeting at UNESCO in Paris, to review the progress of this pilot program. A wide range of topics were covered, including issues relating to genotype-phenotype data submission to the InSiGHT Colon Cancer Gene Variant Databases (chromium.liacs.nl/LOVD2/colon_cancer/home.php). The meeting also canvassed the recent exciting developments in models to evaluate the pathogenicity of unclassified variants using in silico data, tumor pathology information, and functional assays, and made further plans for the future progress and sustainability of the pilot program.
Human Mutation 02/2011; 32(4):491-4. · 5.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in four genes encoding subunits or cofactors of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) cause hereditary paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma syndromes. Mutations in SDHB and SDHD are generally the most common, whereas mutations in SDHC and SDHAF2 are far less frequently observed. A total of 1045 DNA samples from Dutch paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma patients and their relatives were analyzed for mutations of SDHB, SDHC, SDHD or SDHAF2. Mutations in these genes were identified in 690 cases, 239 of which were index cases. The vast majority of mutation carriers had a mutation in SDHD (87.1%). The second most commonly affected gene was SDHAF2 (6.7%). Mutations in SDHB were found in only 5.9% of samples, whereas SDHC mutations were found in 0.3% of samples. Remarkably, 69.1% of all carriers of a mutation in an SDH gene in the Netherlands can be attributed to a single founder mutation in SDHD, c.274G>T and p.Asp92Tyr. Moreover, 88.8% of all SDH mutation carriers carry one of just six Dutch founder mutations in SDHB, SDHD and SDHAF2. The dominance of SDHD mutations is unique to the Netherlands, contrasting with the higher prevalence of SDHB mutations found elsewhere. In addition, we found that most SDH mutation-related paragangliomas-pheochromocytomas in the Netherlands can be explained by only six founder mutations in SDHAF2, SDHB and SDHD. The findings underline the regional differences in the SDH mutation spectrum, differences that should be taken into account in the development of effective screening protocols. The results show the crucial role that demographic factors play in the frequency of gene mutations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lynch syndrome is caused by germline mutations in MSH2, MLH1, MSH6, and PMS2 mismatch-repair genes and leads to a high risk of colorectal and endometrial cancer. We previously showed that constitutional 3' end deletions of EPCAM can cause Lynch syndrome through epigenetic silencing of MSH2 in EPCAM-expressing tissues, resulting in tissue-specific MSH2 deficiency. We aim to establish the risk of cancer associated with such EPCAM deletions.
We obtained clinical data for 194 carriers of a 3' end EPCAM deletion from 41 families known to us at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands and compared cancer risk with data from a previously described cohort of 473 carriers from 91 families with mutations in MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, or a combined EPCAM-MSH2 deletion.
93 of the 194 EPCAM deletion carriers were diagnosed with colorectal cancer; three of the 92 women with EPCAM deletions were diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Carriers of an EPCAM deletion had a 75% (95% CI 65-85) cumulative risk of colorectal cancer before the age of 70 years (mean age at diagnosis 43 years [SD 12]), which did not differ significantly from that of carriers of combined EPCAM-MSH2 deletion (69% [95% CI 47-91], p=0·8609) or mutations in MSH2 (77% [64-90], p=0·5892) or MLH1 (79% [68-90], p=0·5492), but was higher than noted for carriers of MSH6 mutation (50% [38-62], p<0·0001). By contrast, women with EPCAM deletions had a 12% [0-27] cumulative risk of endometrial cancer, which was lower than was that noted for carriers of a combined EPCAM-MSH2 deletion (55% [20-90], p<0·0001) or of a mutation in MSH2 (51% [33-69], p=0·0006) or MSH6 (34% [20-48], p=0·0309), but did not differ significantly from that noted for MLH1 (33% [15-51], p=0·1193) mutation carriers. This risk seems to be restricted to deletions that extend close to the MSH2 gene promoter. Of 194 carriers of an EPCAM deletion, three had duodenal cancer and four had pancreatic cancer.
EPCAM deletion carriers have a high risk of colorectal cancer; only those with deletions extending close to the MSH2 promoter have an increased risk of endometrial cancer. These results underscore the effect of mosaic MSH2 deficiency, leading to variable cancer risks, and could form the basis of an optimised protocol for the recognition and targeted prevention of cancer in EPCAM deletion carriers.
The Lancet Oncology 01/2011; 12(1):49-55. · 25.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Childhood brain tumours may be due to germline bi-allelic mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutations in MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2. These mutations can also lead to colorectal neoplasia and haematological malignancies. Here, we review this syndrome and present siblings with early-onset rectal adenoma and papillary glioneural brain tumour, respectively, due to novel germline bi-allelic PMS2 mutations. Identification of MMR protein defects can lead to early diagnosis of this condition. In addition, assays for these defects may help to classify brain tumours for research protocols aimed at targeted therapies.