Analysis of 11 candidate genes in 849 adult patients with suspected hereditary cancer predisposition

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2021 Feb;60(2):73-78. doi: 10.1002/gcc.22911. Epub 2020 Nov 10.


Hereditary predisposition to cancer concerns between 5% and 10% of cancers. The main genes involved in the most frequent syndromes (hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome) were identified in the 1990s. Exploration of their functional pathways then identified novel genes for hereditary predisposition to cancer, and candidate genes whose involvement remains unclear. To determine the contribution of truncating variants in 11 candidate genes (BARD1, FAM175A, FANCM, MLH3, MRE11A, PMS1, RAD50, RAD51, RAD51B, RINT1, and XRCC2) to cancer predisposition in a population of interest, panel sequencing was performed in 849 patients with a suspected hereditary predisposition to cancer for whom a diagnostic panel of 38 genes identified no causal mutation. Sixteen truncating variants were found in FANCM (n = 7), RINT1 (n = 4), RAD50 (n = 2), BARD1, PMS1, and RAD51B. FANCM (adjusted P-value: .03) and RINT1 (adjusted P-value: .04) were significantly associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. However, further studies are required to determinate the risk of cancer, including the segregation of the variants in the families of our cases. No mutation was identified in RAD51, MRE11A, FAM175A, XRCC2, or MLH3. The involvement of these genes in the hereditary predisposition to cancer cannot be ruled out, although if it exists it is rare or does not seem to involve truncating variants.

Keywords: breast and ovarian cancer syndrome; candidate genes; hereditary colorectal cancer; panel sequencing; predisposition to cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation