Chan, S.H., Lim, W.K., Ishak, N.D.B. et al. Germline Mutations in Cancer Predisposition Genes are Frequent in Sporadic Sarcomas. Sci Rep 7, 10660 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10333-x
Associations of sarcoma with inherited cancer syndromes implicate genetic predisposition in sarcoma development. However, due to the apparently sporadic nature of sarcomas, little attention has been paid to the role genetic susceptibility in sporadic sarcoma. To address this, we performed targeted-genomic sequencing to investigate the prevalence of germline mutations in known cancer-associated genes within an Asian cohort of sporadic sarcoma patients younger than 50 years old. We observed 13.6% (n = 9) amongst 66 patients harbour at least one predicted pathogenic germline mutation in 10 cancer-associated genes including ATM, BRCA2, ERCC4, FANCC, FANCE, FANCI, MSH6, POLE, SDHA and TP53. The most frequently affected genes are involved in the DNA damage repair pathway, with a germline mutation prevalence of 10.6%. Our findings suggests that genetic predisposition plays a larger role than expected in our Asian cohort of sporadic sarcoma, therefore clinicians should be aware of the possibility that young sarcoma patients may be carriers of inherited mutations in cancer genes and should be considered for genetic testing, regardless of family history. The prevalence of germline mutations in DNA damage repair genes imply that therapeutic strategies exploiting the vulnerabilities resulting from impaired DNA repair may be promising areas for translational research.
We thank our patients and research participants from their contribution to this study. We would also like to acknowledge MRC-Holland for the reagents and analysis support in performing digitalMLPA, and Singhealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine (PRISM) for bioinformatics support. This work was supported by National Medical Research Council Singapore Transition Award (grant number: NMRC/TA/0023/2013) to J.N.