Laboratory of Genetics of Rare Hereditary Cancers

Genova, Italy

Laboratory of Genetics of Rare Hereditary Cancers

Genova, Italy
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Ghiorzo P.,University of Genoa | Ghiorzo P.,Laboratory of Genetics of Rare Hereditary Cancers | Bonelli L.,Secondary Prevention and Screening | Pastorino L.,University of Genoa | And 9 more authors.
Experimental Dermatology | Year: 2012

Host, environmental and genetic factors differently modulate cutaneous melanoma (CM) risk across populations. Currently, the main genetic risk determinants are germline mutations in the major known high-risk susceptibility genes, CDKN2A and CDK4, and variants of the low-risk gene MC1R, which is key in the pigmentation process. This case-control study aimed at investigating the influence of the main host and environmental risk factors and of MC1R variation on CM risk in 390 CDKN2A-negative and 49 CDKN2A-positive Italian individuals. Multivariate analysis showed that MC1R variation, number of nevi and childhood sunburns doubled CM risk in CDKN2A-negative individuals. In CDKN2A-positive individuals, family history of CM and presence of atypical nevi, rather than MC1R status, modified risk (20.75- and 2.83-fold, respectively). Occupational sun exposure increased CM risk (three to sixfold) in both CDKN2A-negative and CDKN2A-positive individuals, reflecting the occupational habits of the Ligurian population and the geographical position of Liguria. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Barrett J.H.,University of Leeds | Taylor J.C.,University of Leeds | Bright C.,University of Leeds | Harland M.,University of Leeds | And 48 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2015

At least 17 genomic regions are established as harboring melanoma susceptibility variants, in most instances with genome-wide levels of significance and replication in independent samples. Based on genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data augmented by imputation to the 1,000 Genomes reference panel, we have fine mapped these regions in over 5,000 individuals with melanoma (mainly from the GenoMEL consortium) and over 7,000 ethnically matched controls. A penalized regression approach was used to discover those SNP markers that most parsimoniously explain the observed association in each genomic region. For the majority of the regions, the signal is best explained by a single SNP, which sometimes, as in the tyrosinase region, is a known functional variant. However in five regions the explanation is more complex. At the CDKN2A locus, for example, there is strong evidence that not only multiple SNPs but also multiple genes are involved. Our results illustrate the variability in the biology underlying genome-wide susceptibility loci and make steps toward accounting for some of the "missing heritability." © 2014 The Authors. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of UICC.

Liang X.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Liang X.,Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health | Pfeiffer R.M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Li W.-Q.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 26 more authors.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2014

Dysplastic nevi (DN) is a strong risk factor for cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM), and it frequently occurs in melanoma-prone families. To identify genetic variants for DN, we genotyped 677 tagSNPs in 38 melanoma candidate genes that are involved in pigmentation, DNA repair, cell cycle control, and melanocyte proliferation pathways in a total of 504 individuals (310 with DN, 194 without DN) from 53 melanoma-prone families (23 CDKN2A mutation positive and 30 negative). Conditional logistic regression, conditioning on families, was used to estimate the association between DN and each single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) separately, adjusted for age, sex, CMM, and CDKN2A status. P-values for SNPs in the same gene were combined to yield gene-specific P-values. Two genes, CDK6 (cyclin-dependent kinase 6) and XRCC1, were significantly associated with DN after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing (P=0.0001 and 0.00025, respectively), whereas neither gene was significantly associated with CMM. Associations for CDK6 SNPs were stronger in CDKN2A mutation-positive families (rs2079147, P interaction =0.0033), whereas XRCC1 SNPs had similar effects in mutation-positive and -negative families. The association for one of the associated SNPs in XRCC1 (rs25487) was replicated in two independent data sets (random-effect meta-analysis: P<0.0001). Our findings suggest that some genetic variants may contribute to DN risk independently of their association with CMM in melanoma-prone families. © 2014 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.

Bodelon C.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Pfeiffer R.M.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Bollati V.,University of Milan | Debbache J.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | And 21 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The relationship between telomeres, nevi and melanoma is complex. Shorter telomeres have been found to be associated with many cancers and with number of nevi, a known risk factor for melanoma. However, shorter telomeres have also been found to decrease melanoma risk. We performed a systematic analysis of telomere-related genes and tagSNPs within these genes, in relation to the risk of melanoma, dysplastic nevi, and nevus count combining data from four studies conducted in Italy. In addition, we examined whether telomere length measured in peripheral blood leukocytes is related to the risk of melanoma, dysplastic nevi, number of nevi, or telomere-related SNPs. A total of 796 cases and 770 controls were genotyped for 517 SNPs in 39 telomere-related genes genotyped with a custom-made array. Replication of the top SNPs was conducted in two American populations consisting of 488 subjects from 53 melanoma-prone families and 1,086 cases and 1,024 controls from a case-control study. We estimated odds ratios for associations with SNPs and combined SNP P-values to compute gene region-specific, functional group-specific, and overall P-value using an adaptive rank-truncated product algorithm. In the Mediterranean population, we found suggestive evidence that RECQL4, a gene involved in genome stability, RTEL1, a gene regulating telomere elongation, and TERF2, a gene implicated in the protection of telomeres, were associated with melanoma, the presence of dysplastic nevi and number of nevi, respectively. However, these associations were not found in the American samples, suggesting variable melanoma susceptibility for these genes across populations or chance findings in our discovery sample. Larger studies across different populations are necessary to clarify these associations.

Ghiorzo P.,University of Genoa | Ghiorzo P.,Laboratory of Genetics of Rare Hereditary Cancers | Pastorino L.,University of Genoa | Pastorino L.,Laboratory of Genetics of Rare Hereditary Cancers | And 10 more authors.
Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research | Year: 2013

A French and an Australian study have recently identified a rare germline functional variant in the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) (E318K) that predisposes to familial and sporadic melanoma and to renal cell carcinoma (RCC), showing a new link between two tumour types with different risk factors and between deregulated sumoylation and cancer. The aim of this study was to test the prevalence of the MITF E318K mutation in 667 Italian melanoma patients. We observed significant associations between histological subtypes and family cancer history. Carriers exhibited a nearly threefold higher risk of developing melanoma compared with controls. Carriers were also more likely to have developed multiple primary melanomas (6.40-fold), compared with wt patients. Carriers with a personal and/or family history of pancreatic cancer and kidney cancer had a nearly 31- and eightfold higher risk of developing melanoma compared with wt patients. Our findings further support MITF as a medium-penetrance melanoma susceptibility gene, highlight a potential association with histological subtypes and suggest that MITF may predispose to pancreatic cancer. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Pastorino L.,University of Genoa | Pollio A.,University of Naples Federico II | Pellacani G.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Guarneri C.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Keratocystic odontogenic tumors (KCOTs) are cystic tumors that arise sporadically or associated with nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS). NBCCS is a rare autosomal dominantly inherited disease mainly characterized by multiple basal cell carcinomas, KCOTs of the jaws and a variety of other tumors. PTCH1 mutation can be found both in sporadic or NBCCS associated KCOTs. The aim of the current study was to assess whether a combined clinical and bio-molecular approach could be suitable for the detection of NBCCS among patients with a diagnosis of keratocystic odontogenic tumors (KCOTs). The authors collected keratocystic odontogenic tumors recorded in the database of the Pathology Department of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia during the period 1991-2011. Through interviews and examinations, family pedigrees were drawn for all patients affected by these odontogenic lesions. We found out that 18 of the 70 patients with KCOTs and/or multiple basal cell carcinomas actually met the clinical criteria for the diagnosis of NBCCS. A wide inter- and intra-familial phenotypic variability was evident in the families. Ameloblastomas (AMLs) were reported in two probands that are also carriers of the PCTH1 germline mutations. Nine germline mutations in the PTCH1 gene, 5 of them novel, were evident in 14 tested probands. The clinical evaluation of the keratocystic odontogenic tumors can be used as screening for the detection of families at risk of NBCCS. Keratocystic odontogenic lesions are uncommon, and their discovery deserves the search for associated cutaneous basal cell carcinomas and other benign and malignant tumors related to NBCCS. © 2012 Pastorino et al.

Origone P.,University of Genoa | Gargiulo S.,University of Genoa | Mastracci L.,University of Genoa | Ballestrero A.,University of Genoa | And 13 more authors.
Gastric Cancer | Year: 2013

Purpose: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Most (80 %) contain activating mutations in the KIT receptor tyrosine kinase, roughly 10 % in platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha (PDGFRA). In a small subset, BRAF mutations are an alternative molecular pathway. GISTs respond well to imatinib, but low response is seen in patients with wild-type KIT or PDGFRA. Resistance has also been reported as a result of mutations in downstream effectors such as BRAF. Methods: We provide here a molecular characterization of a series of primary GISTs from Italian patients. Of 121 GIST cases diagnosed between 2000 and 2012, 83 were evaluated by PCR amplification and direct sequencing for mutations in KIT exons 8, 9, 11, 13, and 17, PDGFRA exons 12, 14, and 18, and BRAF exon 15. Eighty-one GISTs also underwent K-RAS testing. Results: Sixty-four GISTs were positive: 55 had mutations in KIT and 9 in PDGFRA; 16 patients were mutation negative. Three samples came from NF1 patients and were KIT- and PDGFRA negative. Overall, we identified six novel mutations in KIT (p.K550-M552delinsL, p.Q556-W557delinsG p.Q556-G575del, p.W557-V559delinsQ p.P573-R588dup, p.G592-K593dup) and one novel mutation in PDGFRA (p.D842-N848delinsVDV), thus contributing to widening the spectrum of known mutations in GIST tumors and confirming the most frequently altered regions underlying GIST development. Conclusions: Among the 64 KIT- and PDGFRA-positive sporadic patients in our series, no BRAF or KRAS mutations were identified, suggesting that co-occurrence of these mutations is likely to be rare in the northwestern Italian population and not a frequent cause of primary resistance to imatinib in KIT-positive GIST patients. © 2013 The International Gastric Cancer Association and The Japanese Gastric Cancer Association.

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