Hereditary cancer syndrome diagnosis: molecular genetic clues and cancer control.


Oncologists who are aware of the progress in hereditary cancer syndrome diagnosis, and, in particular, of how this effort may be effectively facilitated through a comprehensive family history in concert with molecular genetic studies, are in the envious position of designing highly targeted screening and management programs for the membership of these cancer-prone families. The Lynch syndrome is discussed as a clinical model wherein the presence of mismatch repair mutations provides a high level of diagnostic certainty for the initiation of targeted cancer screening and management. The familial atypical multiple mole melanoma-pancreatic cancer (FAMMM-PC) syndrome, on the other hand, provides another model with cancer-control potential. Given its phenotypic features of multiple atypical nevi, high total body mole count and cutaneous malignant melanoma, coupled with the integral association of PC in a subset of FAMMM kindreds with the CDKN2A germline mutation, this may result in a perhaps lower level of diagnostic certainty when compared with the Lynch syndrome. This knowledge may impact upon progress in the earlier diagnosis of melanoma and provide an impetus for creative diagnostic methods in PC, a disease that, at this time, demonstrates a mortality rate virtually identical to its incidence rate.

  • Fusaro RM
  • Lynch HT
  • Lynch JF
PubMed ID
Appears In
Future Oncol, 2007, 3 (2)