Genetic parkinsonisms and cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Rev Neurosci. 2020 Nov 5;32(2):159-167. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2020-0083. Print 2021 Feb 23.


Genes associated with parkinsonism may also be implicated in carcinogenesis, but their interplay remains unclear. We systematically reviewed studies (PubMed 1967-2019) reporting gene variants associated with both parkinsonism and cancer. Somatic variants were examined in cancer samples, whereas germline variants were examined in cancer patients with both symptomatic and asymptomatic (carriers) genetic parkinsonisms. Pooled proportions were calculated with random-effects meta-analyses. Out of 9,967 eligible articles, 60 were included. Of the 28 genetic variants associated with parkinsonism, six were also associated with cancer. In cancer samples, SNCA was predominantly associated with gastrointestinal cancers, UCHL1 with breast cancer, and PRKN with head-and-neck cancers. In asymptomatic carriers, LRRK2 was predominantly associated with gastrointestinal and prostate cancers, PRKN with prostate and genitourinary tract cancers, GBA with sarcoma, and 22q11.2 deletion with leukemia. In symptomatic genetic parkinsonism, LRRK2 was associated with nonmelanoma skin cancers and breast cancers, and PRKN with head-and-neck cancers. Cancer was more often manifested in genetic parkinsonisms compared to asymptomatic carriers. These results suggest that intraindividual genetic contributions may modify the co-occurrence of cancer and neurodegeneration.

Keywords: LRRK2; cancer; genetic parkinsonism; meta-analysis; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease* / genetics
  • Parkinsonian Disorders*