Trans-ethnic variation in germline variants of patients with renal cell carcinoma

Cell Rep. 2021 Mar 30;34(13):108926. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108926.


Prior studies of the renal cell carcinoma (RCC) germline landscape investigated predominantly patients of European ancestry. We examine the frequency of germline pathogenic and likely pathogenic (P/LP) variants in 1,829 patients with RCC from various ancestries. Overall, P/LP variants are found in 17% of patients, among whom 10.3% harbor one or more clinically actionable variants with potential preventive or therapeutic utility. Patients of African ancestry with RCC harbor significantly more P/LP variants in FH compared to patients of non-African ancestry with RCC and African controls from the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD). Patients of non-African ancestry have significantly more P/LP variants in CHEK2 compared to patients of African ancestry with RCC and non-Finnish Europeans controls. Non-Africans with RCC have more actionable variants compared to Africans with RCC. This work helps understand the underlying biological differences in RCC between Africans and non-Africans and paves the way to more comprehensive genomic characterization of underrepresented populations.

Keywords: Ancestry; DNA damage repair; clinical genetics; germline variants; kidney cancer; renal cell carcinoma.