Germline SUFU mutation carriers and medulloblastoma: clinical characteristics, cancer risk, and prognosis

Neuro Oncol. 2018 Jul 5;20(8):1122-1132. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nox228.


Background: Germline mutations of suppressor of fused homolog (SUFU) predispose to sonic hedgehog (SHH) medulloblastoma. Germline SUFU mutations have been reported in nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), but little is known about the cancer risk and clinical spectrum.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all patients with medulloblastoma and a germline SUFU mutation in France.

Results: Twenty-two patients from 17 families were identified with medulloblastoma and a germline SUFU mutation (median age at diagnosis: 16.5 mo). Macrocrania was present in 20 patients, but only 5 met the diagnostic criteria for NBCCS. Despite treatment with surgery and chemotherapy, to avoid radiotherapy in all patients except one, the outcome was worse than expected for SHH medulloblastoma, due to the high incidence of local relapses (8/22 patients) and second malignancies (n = 6 in 4/22 patients). The 5-year progression-free survival and overall survival rates were 42% and 66%. Mutations were inherited in 79% of patients, and 34 additional SUFU mutation carriers were identified within 14 families. Medulloblastoma penetrance was incomplete, but higher than in Patched 1 (PTCH1) mutation carriers. Besides medulloblastoma, 19 other tumors were recorded among the 56 SUFU mutation carriers, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in 2 patients and meningioma in 3 patients.

Conclusion: Germline SUFU mutations strongly predispose to medulloblastoma in the first years of life, with worse prognosis than usually observed for SHH medulloblastoma. The clinical spectrum differs between SUFU and PTCH1 mutation carriers, and BCC incidence is much lower in SUFU mutation carriers. The optimal treatment of SUFU mutation-associated medulloblastoma has not been defined.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / genetics
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Germ-Line Mutation*
  • Heterozygote*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / genetics
  • Medulloblastoma / pathology*
  • Medulloblastoma / therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Repressor Proteins
  • SUFU protein, human