Mutation analysis of PALB2 in BRCA1 and BRCA2-negative breast and/or ovarian cancer families from Eastern Ontario, Canada

Title: Mutation analysis of PALB2 in BRCA1 and BRCA2-negative breast and/or ovarian cancer families from Eastern Ontario, Canada
Authors: Hartley, Taila
Cavallone, Luca
Sabbaghian, Nelly
Silva-Smith, Rachel
Hamel, Nancy
Aleynikova, Olga
Smith, Erika
Hastings, Valerie
Pinto, Pedro
Tischkowitz, Marc
Tomiak, Eva
Foulkes, William D
Date: 2014-08-28
Abstract: Abstract Background PALB2 has emerged as a breast cancer susceptibility gene. Mutations in PALB2 have been identified in almost all breast cancer populations studied to date, but the rarity of these mutations and lack of information regarding their penetrance makes genetic counseling for these families challenging. We studied BRCA1/2 -negative breast and/or ovarian cancer families to a) assess the contribution of PALB2 mutations in this series and b) identify clinical, pathological and family history characteristics that might make PALB2 screening more efficient. Methods The coding region of the PALB2 gene was analyzed in 175 probands with family histories of breast and/or ovarian cancer ascertained from a single Canadian institution in Eastern Ontario. Results We identified 2 probands with PALB2 mutations that are known or strongly considered to be pathogenic and 3 probands with missense mutations that are possibly pathogenic. One of the identified truncating mutations [c.3113G > A (p.Gly1000_Trp1038del – major product)], has been previously described while the other four mutations [c.3507_3508delTC (p.H1170Ffs*19), c.1846G > C (p.D616H), c.3418 T > G (p.W1140G), c.3287A > G (p.N1096S)] have not been previously reported. Loss of heterozygosity was detected in two breast tumors from one c.3507_3508delTC mutation carrier but not in other available tumors from that family or in tumors from carriers of other mutations. Conclusions PALB2 mutation screening identifies a small, but significant number of mutations in BRCA1/2 -negative breast and/or ovarian cancer families. We show that mutations are more likely to be found in families with three or more breast cancers as well as other BRCA2-related cancers. In our cohort, both clearly pathogenic mutations were identified in premenopausal breast cancer cases (2/77, 2.6%). Testing should be preferentially offered to affected women from such families.
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