Familial risk in testicular cancer as a clue to a heritable and environmental aetiology

Br J Cancer. 2004 May 4;90(9):1765-70. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6601714.


We used the nation-wide Swedish Family-Cancer Database to examine the risk for testicular cancer in offspring through parental and sibling probands. Among 0-68-year-old offspring, 4082 patients had testicular cancer in years 1961-2000, among whom 68 (1.67%) had an affected father/brother. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for familial risk were four-fold when a father and nine-fold when a brother had testicular cancer. Histology-specific risks (for the testicular cancer) were similar for sons of affected fathers, but were higher among brothers for teratoma and seminoma than for mixed histologies. Standardized incidence ratios for either histology depended on the age difference between the brothers: 10.81 when the age difference was less than 5 years compared to 6.69 for a larger age difference. Parental colorectal, pancreatic, lung and breast cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease were associated with seminoma among sons. Seminoma risk was also increased when a sibling had melanoma. Teratoma was associated with parental lung cancer and melanoma. The high familial risk may be the product of shared childhood environment and heritable causes. Familial cases of fraternal pairs with an early-onset teratoma represent a challenge for gene identification.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Seminoma / epidemiology
  • Seminoma / genetics
  • Seminoma / pathology
  • Sweden / epidemiology*
  • Teratoma / epidemiology
  • Teratoma / genetics
  • Teratoma / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology