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Int J Cancer. 2017 Jan 1;140(1):95-102. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30428. Epub 2016 Sep 23.

Gene panel sequencing in familial breast/ovarian cancer patients identifies multiple novel mutations also in genes others than BRCA1/2.

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Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Erlangen, Germany.
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Erlangen, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen-EMN, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Erlangen, Germany.


Breast and ovarian cancer (BC/OC) predisposition has been attributed to a number of high- and moderate to low-penetrance susceptibility genes. With the advent of next generation sequencing (NGS) simultaneous testing of these genes has become feasible. In this monocentric study, we report results of panel-based screening of 14 BC/OC susceptibility genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, RAD51C, RAD51D, CHEK2, PALB2, ATM, NBN, CDH1, TP53, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2) in a group of 581 consecutive individuals from a German population with BC and/or OC fulfilling diagnostic criteria for BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing including 179 with a triple-negative tumor. Altogether we identified 106 deleterious mutations in 105 (18%) patients in 10 different genes, including seven different exon deletions. Of these 106 mutations, 16 (15%) were novel and only six were found in BRCA1/2. To further characterize mutations located in or nearby splicing consensus sites we performed RT-PCR analysis which allowed confirmation of pathogenicity in 7 of 9 mutations analyzed. In PALB2, we identified a deleterious variant in six cases. All but one were associated with early onset BC and a positive family history indicating that penetrance for PALB2 mutations is comparable to BRCA2. Overall, extended testing beyond BRCA1/2 identified a deleterious mutation in further 6% of patients. As a downside, 89 variants of uncertain significance were identified highlighting the need for comprehensive variant databases. In conclusion, panel testing yields more accurate information on genetic cancer risk than assessing BRCA1/2 alone and wide-spread testing will help improve penetrance assessment of variants in these risk genes.


breast cancer; gene panel; next generation sequencing; non-BRCA1/2; ovarian cancer

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