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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Jan;56(1):7-15. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22831.

Spectrum of SMARCB1/INI1 mutations in familial and sporadic rhabdoid tumors.

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Division of Human Genetics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



Germline mutations and deletions of SMARCB1/INI1 in chromosome band 22q11.2 predispose patients to rhabdoid tumor and schwannomatosis. Previous estimates suggested that 15-20% of rhabdoid tumors were caused by an underlying germline abnormality of SMARCB1. However, these studies were limited by case selection and an inability to detect intragenic deletions and duplications.


One hundred matched tumor and blood samples from patients with rhabdoid tumors of the brain, kidney, or soft tissues were analyzed for mutations and deletions of SMARCB1 by FISH, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), sequence analysis and high resolution Illumina 610K SNP-based oligonucleotide array studies.


Thirty-five of 100 patients were found to have a germline SMARCB1 abnormality. These abnormalities included point and frameshift mutations, intragenic deletions and duplications, and larger deletions including regions both proximal and distal to SMARCB1. There were nine cases that demonstrated parent to child transmission of a mutated copy of SMARCB1. In eight of the nine cases, one or more family members were also diagnosed with rhabdoid tumor or schwannoma, and two of the eight families presented with multiple affected children in a manner consistent with gonadal mosaicism.


Approximately one-third of newly diagnosed patients with rhabdoid tumor have an underlying genetic predisposition to tumors due to a germline SMARCB1 alteration. Families may demonstrate incomplete penetrance and gonadal mosaicism, which must be considered when counseling families of patients with rhabdoid tumor.

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