Background: Individuals with Li-Fraumeni syndrome have a high lifetime risk of developing cancer. We assessed the feasibility and potential clinical effect of a comprehensive surveillance protocol in asymptomatic TP53 mutation carriers in families with this syndrome.
Methods: We implemented a clinical surveillance protocol, using frequent biochemical and imaging studies, for asymptomatic TP53 mutation carriers on Jan 1, 2004, and did a prospective observational study of members of eight families with Li-Fraumeni syndrome who either chose to undergo surveillance or chose not to undergo surveillance. The primary outcome measure was detection of new cancers. The secondary outcome measure was overall survival.
Findings: As of Nov 1, 2010, 33 TP53 mutation carriers were identified, 18 of whom underwent surveillance. The surveillance protocol detected ten asymptomatic tumours in seven patients, including small, high-grade tumours and low-grade or premalignant tumours. All seven mutation carriers were alive after a median follow-up of 24 months (IQR 22-65 months). 12 high-grade, high-stage tumours developed in 10 individuals in the non-surveillance group, two of whom (20%) were alive at the end of follow-up (p=0·0417 for comparison with survival in the surveillance group). 3-year overall survival was 100% in the surveillance group and 21% (95% CI 4-48%) in the non-surveillance group (p=0·0155).
Interpretation: Our findings show the feasibility of a clinical surveillance protocol for the detection of asymptomatic neoplasms in individuals with germline TP53 mutations. This strategy offers a management option for affected individuals, and its benefits lend support to the use of early genetic testing of at-risk individuals and families.
Funding: Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, SickKids Foundation, and Soccer for Hope.
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