Genetic Risk for Subsequent Neoplasms Among Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2018 Jul 10;36(20):2078-2087. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2018.77.8589. Epub 2018 May 30.


Purpose Childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk of subsequent neoplasms (SNs), but the germline genetic contribution is largely unknown. We assessed the contribution of pathogenic/likely pathogenic (P/LP) mutations in cancer predisposition genes to their SN risk. Patients and Methods Whole-genome sequencing (30-fold) was performed on samples from childhood cancer survivors who were ≥ 5 years since initial cancer diagnosis and participants in the St Jude Lifetime Cohort Study, a retrospective hospital-based study with prospective clinical follow-up. Germline mutations in 60 genes known to be associated with autosomal dominant cancer predisposition syndromes with moderate to high penetrance were classified by their pathogenicity according to the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics guidelines. Relative rates (RRs) and 95% CIs of SN occurrence by mutation status were estimated using multivariable piecewise exponential regression stratified by radiation exposure. Results Participants were 3,006 survivors (53% male; median age, 35.8 years [range, 7.1 to 69.8 years]; 56% received radiotherapy), 1,120 SNs were diagnosed among 439 survivors (14.6%), and 175 P/LP mutations were identified in 5.8% (95% CI, 5.0% to 6.7%) of survivors. Mutations were associated with significantly increased rates of breast cancer (RR, 13.9; 95% CI, 6.0 to 32.2) and sarcoma (RR, 10.6; 95% CI, 4.3 to 26.3) among irradiated survivors and with increased rates of developing any SN (RR, 4.7; 95% CI, 2.4 to 9.3), breast cancer (RR, 7.7; 95% CI, 2.4 to 24.4), nonmelanoma skin cancer (RR, 11.0; 95% CI, 2.9 to 41.4), and two or more histologically distinct SNs (RR, 18.6; 95% CI, 3.5 to 99.3) among nonirradiated survivors. Conclusion The findings support referral of all survivors for genetic counseling for potential clinical genetic testing, which should be prioritized for nonirradiated survivors with any SN and for those with breast cancer or sarcoma in the field of prior irradiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cancer Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / genetics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Whole Genome Sequencing
  • Young Adult