Germline MUTYH Mutation in a Pediatric Cancer Survivor Developing a Secondary Malignancy

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2020 Oct;42(7):e647-e654. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001668.


Radiotherapy-induced second malignant neoplasms (SMNs) are a severe late complication in pediatric cancer survivors. Germline mutations in tumor suppressor genes contribute to SMNs; however, the most relevant germline variants mediating susceptibility are not fully defined. The authors performed matched whole-exome sequencing analyses of germline and tumor DNA from 4 pediatric solid tumor survivors who subsequently developed radiation-associated SMNs. Pathogenic and predicted deleterious germline variants were identified for each patient and validated with Sanger sequencing. These germline variants were compared with germline variants in a cohort of 59 pediatric patients diagnosed with primary sarcomas. Pathway analysis was performed to test for similarities in the germline variant profiles between individuals diagnosed with SMNs or primary sarcomas. One index patient was found to have a pathogenic germline monoallelic mutation in the MUTYH gene, which encodes the base excision repair enzyme adenine DNA glycosylase. This specific germline mutation is associated with a form of familial adenomatous polyposis, a new diagnosis in the patient. Germline-level genetic similarity exists between SMN-developing patients and patients developing primary sarcomas, with relevant genes involved in signal transduction and DNA repair mechanisms. The authors identify a germline MUTYH mutation in a pediatric cancer survivor developing an SMN. Germline mutations involving specific pathways such as base excision repair may identify individuals at risk for developing SMNs. The composition of germline variants in individual patients may enable estimates of patient-specific risk for developing SMNs. The authors anticipate that further analyses of germline genomes and epigenomes will reveal diverse genes and mechanisms influencing cancer risk.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Cancer Survivors
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • DNA Glycosylases / genetics*
  • Female
  • Germ-Line Mutation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / etiology
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / pathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA Glycosylases
  • mutY adenine glycosylase