Cancer, like many common disorders, has a complex etiology, often with a strong genetic component and with multiple environmental factors contributing to susceptibility. A considerable number of genomic variants have been previously reported to be causative of, or associated with, an increased risk for various types of cancer. Here, we adopted a next-generation sequencing approach in 11 members of two families of Greek descent to identify all genomic variants with the potential to predispose family members to cancer. Cross-comparison with data from the Human Gene Mutation Database identified a total of 571 variants, from which 47 % were disease-associated polymorphisms, 26 % disease-associated polymorphisms with additional supporting functional evidence, 19 % functional polymorphisms with in vitro/laboratory or in vivo supporting evidence but no known disease association, 4 % putative disease-causing mutations but with some residual doubt as to their pathological significance, and 3 % disease-causing mutations. Subsequent analysis, focused on the latter variant class most likely to be involved in cancer predisposition, revealed two variants of prime interest, namely MSH2 c.2732T>A (p.L911R) and BRCA1 c.2955delC, the first of which is novel. KMT2D c.13895delC and c.1940C>A variants are additionally reported as incidental findings. The next-generation sequencing-based family genomics approach described herein has the potential to be applied to other types of complex genetic disorder in order to identify variants of potential pathological significance.