Bloom syndrome: a mendelian prototype of somatic mutational disease

Medicine (Baltimore). 1993 Nov;72(6):393-406.


Spontaneous mutations in human somatic cells occur far more often than normal in individuals with Bloom syndrome. The basis for understanding these mutations and their developmental consequences emerges from examination of BS at the molecular, cellular, and clinical levels. The major clinical feature of BS, proportional dwarfism, as well as its major clinical complication, an exceptionally early emergence of neoplasia of the types and sites that affect the general population, are attributable to the excessive occurrence of mutations in somatic cells. Here, the following aspects of BS are discussed: (i) the BS phenotype; (ii) neoplasia in BS, including the means--the Bloom's Syndrome Registry--by which the significant risk for diverse sites and types of cancer in these patients was revealed; (iii) the biological basis for the cancer proneness of BS; and, finally, (iv) the significance for both basic human biology and clinical medicine of BS as the prototype of somatic mutational disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bloom Syndrome* / complications
  • Bloom Syndrome* / genetics
  • Child
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Phenotype