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J Med Genet. 1994 Aug;31(8):627-31.

Muir-Torre syndrome: a variant of the cancer family syndrome.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.


Muir-Torre syndrome is characterised by the association of sebaceous tumours of the skin with internal malignancy. In many instances there is a strong family history of cancer and the autosomal dominant mode of inheritance, tumour spectrum, and high incidence of synchronous and metachronous tumours show parallels with the cancer family syndrome or Lynch II syndrome. We report a five generation family with at least two persons displaying the Muir-Torre phenotype, while many other family members have had tumours consistent with cancer family syndrome. The majority of tumours are gastrointestinal, gynaecological, and urological, with several persons having multiple primaries. The prognosis appears to be better than would be expected. Sebaceous tumours are a marker for internal malignancy and should prompt a search for occult cancer in the individual person and family members. In documented Muir-Torre families, at risk persons should be entered into screening programmes similar to those used in the Lynch II syndrome.

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