Mohamed H. Abdel-Rahman, Klarke M. Sample, Robert Pilarski, Tomas Walsh, Timothy Grosel, Daniel Kinnamon, Getachew Boru, James B. Massengill, Lynn Schoenfield, Ben Kelly, David Gordon, Peter Johansson, Meghan J. DeBenedictis, Arun Singh, Silvia Casadei, Frederick H. Davidorf, Peter White, Andrew W. Stacey, James Scarth, Ellie Fewings, Marc Tischkowitz, Mary-Claire King, Nicholas K. Hayward, Colleen M. Cebulla
To identify susceptibility genes associated with hereditary predisposition to uveal melanoma (UM) in patients with no detectable germline BAP1 alterations.
Retrospective case series from academic referral centers.
Cohort of 154 UM patients with high risk of hereditary cancer defined as patients with 1 or more of the following: (1) familial UM, (2) young age (<35 years) at diagnosis, (3) personal history of other primary cancers, and (4) family history of 2 or more primary cancers with no detectable mutation or deletion in BAP1 gene.
Whole exome sequencing, a cancer gene panel, or both were carried out. Probands included 27 patients with familial UM, 1 patient with bilateral UM, 1 patient with congenital UM, and 125 UM patients with strong personal or family histories, or both, of cancer. Functional validation of variants was carried out by immunohistochemistry, reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and genotyping.
Main Outcome Measures
Clinical characterization of UM patients with germline alterations in known cancer genes.
We identified actionable pathogenic variants in 8 known hereditary cancer predisposition genes (PALB2, MLH1, MSH6, CHEK2, SMARCE1, ATM, BRCA1, and CTNNA1) in 9 patients, including 3 of 27 patients (11%) with familial UM and 6 of 127 patients (4.7%) with a high risk for cancer. Two patients showed pathogenic variants in CHEK2 and PALB2, whereas variants in the other genes each occurred in 1 patient. Biallelic inactivation of PALB2 and MLH1 was observed in tumors from the respective patients. The frequencies of pathogenic variants in PALB2, MLH1, and SMARCE1 in UM patients were significantly higher than the observed frequencies in noncancer controls (PALB2: P = 0.02; odds ratio, 8.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.5–30.6; MLH1: P = 0.04; odds ratio, 25.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.2–143; SMARCE1: P = 0.001; odds ratio, 2047; 95% confidence interval, 52–4.5e15, respectively).
The study provided moderate evidence of gene and disease association of germline mutations in PALB2 and MLH1 with hereditary predisposition to UM. It also identified several other candidate susceptibility genes. The results suggest locus heterogeneity in predisposition to UM. Genetic testing for hereditary predisposition to cancer is warranted in UM patients with strong personal or family history of cancers, or both.