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N Engl J Med. 1986 May 8;314(19):1201-7.

Prediction of familial predisposition to retinoblastoma.


Retinoblastoma is a childhood cancer, predisposition to which is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. We used restriction-fragment-length and isozymic alleles of loci on chromosome 13 in five families predisposed to retinoblastoma, to provide identification before illness of persons likely to have tumors. The likelihood of disease was predicted in two cases, and freedom from disease in three. The calculated predictive accuracy was greater than 94 percent in cases with informative loci flanking the retinoblastoma (RB1) locus, and our prediction has been fulfilled in each such instance. A case that was informative at several loci indicated the occurrence of meiotic recombination, and accurate prediction was based on data obtained with DNA markers and isozymic forms of esterase D. The calculated predictive accuracy in another case, which was informative only for loci distal to the retinoblastoma locus, was about 70 percent. This patient was expected to acquire the disease but had not done so at the age of one year, illustrating the need for more markers that are also more informative and genetically closer to the retinoblastoma locus. These studies provide the basis for prenatal and postnatal prediction of susceptibility to inherited cancer using arbitrary recombinant DNA markers. Such predictions should make genetic counseling for familial retinoblastoma more accurate and lead to earlier tumor detection and more effective therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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