Lifetime Cancer Risks in Individuals with Germline PTEN Mutations

First prospective study to clarify corresponding cancer risks to shed biological insights on human germline PTEN mutations

image of PTEN survivor


Age-adjusted cancer incidence and age-related penetrance studies have helped guide cancer risk assessment and management. PTEN Hamartoma-Tumor Syndrome (PHTS) is a term encompassing subsets of several clinical syndromes with germline mutations in the PTEN tumor suppressor gene. We conducted the first prospective study to clarify corresponding cancer risks to shed biological insights on human germline PTEN mutations, and to better inform current surveillance recommendations based on expert opinion.

A series of 3,399 individuals meeting relaxed International Cowden Consortium PHTS criteria were prospectively recruited; 368 individuals were found to have deleterious germline PTEN mutations. Age-adjusted standardized incidence ratio (SIR) calculations and genotype-phenotype analyses were performed.

Elevated SIRs were found for carcinomas of the breast (25.4, 95%C.I. 19.8-32.0), thyroid (51.1, 38.1-67.1), endometrium (42.9, 28.1-62.8), colorectum (10.3, 5.6-17.4), and kidney (30.6, 17.8-49.4), and melanoma (8.5, 4.1–15.6). Estimated lifetime risks were, respectively, 85.2% (95%C.I. 71.4%-99.1%), 35.2% (19.7%-50.7%), 28.2% (17.1%-39.3%), 9.0% (3.8-%14.1%), 33.6% (10.4%–56.9%) and 6% (1.6%-9.4%). Promoter mutations were associated with breast cancer, while colorectal cancer was associated with nonsense mutations.

Lifetime risks for a variety of cancers, now extending to colorectal cancer, kidney cancer and melanoma, are increased in patients with PTEN mutations. The genotype-phenotype associations here may provide new insights on PTEN structure and function. We propose a comprehensive approach to surveillance of patients with PTEN mutations.

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Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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