Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS, OMIM 130650) is a congenital imprinting condition with a heterogenous clinical presentation of overgrowth and an increased childhood cancer risk (mainly nephroblastoma, hepatoblastoma or neuroblastoma). Due to the varying clinical presentation encompassing classical, clinical BWS without a molecular diagnosis and BWS-related phenotypes with an 11p15.5 molecular anomaly, the syndromic entity was extended to the Beckwith-Wiedemann spectrum (BWSp). The tumor risk of up to 30% depends on the molecular subtype of BWSp with causative genetic or epigenetic alterations in the chromosomal region 11p15.5. The molecular diagnosis of BWSp can be challenging for several reasons, including the range of causative molecular mechanisms which are frequently mosaic. The molecular basis of tumor formation appears to relate to stalled cellular differentiation in certain organs that predisposes persisting embryonic cells to accumulate additional molecular defects, which then results in a range of embryonal tumors. The molecular subtype of BWSp not only influences the overall risk of neoplasia, but also the likelihood of specific embryonal tumors.
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- Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrom spectrum
- genomic imprinting