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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008 Sep 3;100(17):1260-2. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djn254. Epub 2008 Aug 26.

Germline SDHB mutations and familial renal cell carcinoma.

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Cancer Research UK Renal Molecular Oncology Group, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, University of Birmingham School of Medicine, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.


Familial renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a heterogeneous disorder that is most commonly caused by germline mutations in the VHL, MET, and FLCN genes or by constitutional chromosome 3 translocations. However, for many patients with familial RCC, the genetic basis of the disease is undefined. We investigated whether germline mutations in fumarate hydratase (FH) or succinate dehydrogenase subunit genes (SDHB, SDHC, SDHD) were associated with RCC susceptibility in 68 patients with no clinical evidence of an RCC susceptibility syndrome. No mutations in FH, SDHC, or SDHD were identified in probands, but 3 of the 68 (4.4%) probands had a germline SDHB mutation. Patients with a germline SDHB mutation presented with familial RCC (n = 1) or bilateral RCC (n = 2) and no personal or family history of pheochromocytoma or head and neck paraganglioma. Age at diagnosis of RCC in SDHB mutation carriers ranged from 24 to 73 years. These findings 1) demonstrate that patients with suspected inherited RCC should be examined for germline SDHB mutations, 2) suggest that all identified SDHB mutation carriers should be offered surveillance for RCC, and 3) provide a further link between familial RCC and activation of hypoxic-gene response pathways.

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