Multilocus inherited neoplasia alleles syndrome

James Whitworth, Anne Bine Skytte, Lone Sunde, Derek H. Lim, Mark J. Arends, Lisa Happerfield, Ian M. Frayling, Rick Van Minkelen, Emma R. Woodward, Marc D. Tischkowitz, Eamonn R. Maher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mendelian causes of inherited cancer susceptibility are mostly rare and characterized by variable expression and incomplete penetrance. Phenotypic variabilitymay result from a range of causes including locus heterogeneity, allelic heterogeneity, genetic and environmental modifier effects, or chance. Another potential cause is the presence of 2 or more inherited cancer predisposition alleles in the same individual. Although the frequency of such occurrences might be predicted to be low, such cases have probably been underascertained because standard clinical practice has been to test candidate inherited cancer genes sequentially until a pathogenic mutation is detected. However, recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies now provide the opportunity to perform simultaneous parallel testing of large numbers of inherited cancer genes. Herein we provide examples of patients who harbor pathogenic mutations in multiple inherited cancer genes and review previously published examples to illustrate the complex genotype-phenotype relationships in these cases. We suggest that clinicians should proactively consider the likelihood of this phenomenon (referred to herein as multilocus inherited neoplasia alleles syndrome [MINAS]) in patients with unusual inherited cancer syndrome phenotypes. To facilitate the clinical management of novel cases of MINAS, we have established a database to collect information on what is likely to be an increasingly recognized cohort of such individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalJAMA Oncology
Issue number3
Early online date10 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


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