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De novo germline pathogenic variant in Lynch Syndrome: A rare event or the tip of the iceberg?

Tumori 2023 September 12
Lynch Syndrome is an autosomal dominant cancer predisposition syndrome caused by germline pathogenic variants or epimutation in one of the DNA mismatch repair genes. De novo pathogenic variants in mismatch repair genes have been described as a rare event in Lynch Syndrome (1-5%), although the prevalence of de novo pathogenic variants in Lynch Syndrome is probably underestimated. The de novo pathogenic variant was identified in a 26-year-old woman diagnosed with an adenocarcinoma of the caecum with mismatch repair protein deficiency at immunohistochemistry and a synchronous neuroendocrine tumor of the appendix with normal expression of mismatch repair proteins. DNA testing revealed deletion of exon 6 of the MLH1 gene. It appeared to be a de novo event, as the deletion was not detected in the patient's parents. The presence of a mosaicism in the patient was excluded and haplotype analysis demonstrated the paternal origin of the chromosome harboring the deletion. The de novo deletion probably originated either from a very early postzygotic or a single prezygotic mutational event, or from a gonadal mosaicism. In conclusion, the identification of de novo pathogenic variants is crucial to allow proper genetic counseling and appropriate management of the patient's family.

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