Testicular Sertoli cell tumour and potentially testicular Leydig cell tumour are features of DICER1 syndrome

J Med Genet. 2022 Apr;59(4):346-350. doi: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-107434. Epub 2021 Mar 29.


DICER1 syndrome is a rare paediatric autosomal dominant inherited disorder predisposing to various benign and malignant tumours. It is caused by a germline pathogenic variant in DICER1, and the second hit for tumour development is usually a missense hotspot pathogenic variant in the DICER1 ribonuclease IIIb domain. While DICER1 predisposing variants account for about 60% of ovarian Sertoli-Leydig cell tumours, no DICER1-related testicular stromal tumours have been described. Here we report the first two cases of testicular stromal tumours in children carrying a DICER1 germline pathogenic variant: a case of Sertoli cell tumour and a case of Leydig cell tumour diagnosed at 2 and 12 years of age, respectively. A somatic DICER1 hotspot pathogenic variant was detected in the Sertoli cell tumour. This report extends the spectrum of DICER1-related tumours to include testicular Sertoli cell tumour and potentially testicular Leydig cell tumour. Diagnosis of a testicular Sertoli cell tumour should prompt DICER1 genetic testing so that patients with a DICER1 germline pathogenic variant can benefit from established surveillance guidelines. DICER1 genetic evaluation may be considered for testicular Leydig cell tumour. Our findings suggest that miRNA dysregulation underlies the aetiology of some testicular stromal tumours.

Keywords: genetic predisposition to disease; medical oncology; paediatrics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leydig Cell Tumor* / diagnosis
  • Leydig Cell Tumor* / genetics
  • Male
  • Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Ribonuclease III / genetics
  • Sertoli Cell Tumor* / genetics
  • Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumor* / genetics
  • Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumor* / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / genetics


  • DICER1 protein, human
  • Ribonuclease III
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases