Medulloblastoma, acute myelocytic leukemia and colonic carcinomas in a child with biallelic MSH6 mutations

Nat Clin Pract Oncol. 2007 Feb;4(2):130-4. doi: 10.1038/ncponc0719.


Background A 13-year-old girl presented with rectal bleeding and was found to have two colonic carcinomas (stage Dukes' C) and multiple colonic polyps. At the age of 7 years she had widespread hyperpigmented and hypopigmented skin lesions, and had developed medulloblastoma, which was treated with chemotherapy and craniospinal irradiation. At the age of 10 years she had developed acute myelocytic leukemia, M5. She was treated with chemotherapy including sibling bone marrow transplant with busulfan/cyclophosphamide conditioning. A three-generation family history identified no relatives with colonic carcinomas or polyposis. Investigations Immunohistochemical analysis was performed on a sample of colonic adenoma. Staining for MLH1 and MSH2 was normal but was absent for MSH6. Direct sequencing of MSH6 was performed in the proband and both parents. Diagnosis Constitutional biallelic mutations in the mismatch repair gene MSH6 were identified in the proband. Both parents are carriers of one mutation. This is the first individual with biallelic MSH6 mutations reported with either medulloblastoma or acute myelocytic leukemia. Management Cascade genetic testing and colonoscopic screening for colorectal carcinoma has been offered to relatives carrying one mutation. The proband underwent panproctocolectomy and received adjuvant capecitabine. Identification of constitutional biallelic mismatch repair gene mutations allows the avoidance of chemotherapeutic agents likely to be ineffective and mutagenic in the context of the underlying mismatch repair deficiency. It is important to consider this diagnosis in children presenting with malignancy and abnormal skin pigmentation, even in the absence of a strong family history of tumors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / genetics*
  • Medulloblastoma / genetics*
  • Pigmentation Disorders / genetics


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • G-T mismatch-binding protein