The gene for the naevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome acts as a tumour-suppressor gene in medulloblastoma

Br J Cancer. 1997;76(2):141-5. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1997.354.


Individuals with naevoid basal cell carcinoma (Gorlin) syndrome are at increased risk of developing medulloblastoma in childhood. We have shown that approximately 5% of patients with Gorlin syndrome will develop this complication in the first few years of life, and in addition 10% of patients with medulloblastoma diagnosed at age 2 years or under have Gorlin syndrome. One out of three medulloblastomas occurring in patients with Gorlin syndrome was shown to have lost the wild-type allele on 9q, indicating that the Gorlin locus probably acts as a tumour suppressor in the development of this tumour. We have also confirmed this role in a basal cell carcinoma (BCC) from the same individual. Information from these families would suggest that Gorlin syndrome is more common than previously recognized and may not always be diagnosed on clinical grounds alone even in middle life.

MeSH terms

  • Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome / complications
  • Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome / genetics*
  • Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome / pathology
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / complications
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 9
  • Female
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor / genetics*
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / complications
  • Medulloblastoma / genetics*
  • Medulloblastoma / pathology
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Pedigree