cancer

Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome 1

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

There is considerable clinical heterogeneity in this disorder.  Few patients have all of the clinical features and there is much variation in the severity of these.  Almost all segments of the eye can be involved.  The lashes are often lush and the eyebrows may be highly arched and bushy.  Lid fissures are often downward slanting (88%).  Congenital glaucoma, nystagmus, cataracts, lacrimal duct obstruction (37%), ptosis (29%), colobomas and numerous corneal abnormalities including keratoglobus, sclerocornea, and megalocornea have been reported.  Abnormal VEP waveforms and cone and cone-rod dysfunction have been found in the majority (78%) of patients tested.  Retinal pigmentary changes have been seen in some patients.  Refractive errors (usually myopia) occur in 56% of patients.  Visual acuities vary widely but about 20% of patients are visually handicapped.

Fluorescein angiography in a single patient revealed generalized vascular attenuation and extensive peripheral avascularity.  The AV transit time was prolonged with delayed venous filling and late small vessel leakage. 

Systemic Features: 

The facial features are reported to be characteristic but there are few distinctive signs.  The face is often broad and round, the nose is beaked, the mouth is small, and the lower lip appears to pout and protrudes beyond a short upper lip.  Smiles have been described as 'grimacing'.  It is common for the columella to protrude beyond the alae nasi.  The palate is narrow and highly arched and the laryngeal walls collapse easily which may lead to feeding problems and respiratory difficulties.  The ears may be rotated posteriorly.  The anterior hairline can appear low.

Among the more distinctive signs are the broad thumbs and great toes which are often deviated medially.  However, the distal phalanges of all fingers may be broad as well.  Bone fractures are common and patellar dislocations can be present as seen in the first two decades of life.  Hypotonia is a feature.  Numerous dental anomalies have been reported including crowded teeth, enamel hypoplasia, crossbite, and abnormal numbers of teeth.

Developmental delays are common.  Infancy and childhood milestones are often delayed.  Many patients have cognitive delays and some are mildly retarded.  Postnatal growth is subnormal and obesity is common.  A third of patients have a cardiac abnormality including septal defects, valvular defects, coarctation of the aorta, pulmonic stenosis, and patent ductus arteriosus.  Renal abnormalities occur frequently and almost all males have undescended testes.  Patients are at increased risk of tumors, both malignant and benign, many of which occur in the central nervous system.  Other problems are constipation and hearing loss.

Genetics

Evidence points to an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance secondary to mutations in CREBBP (16p13.3) but there is some genetic heterogeneity as mutations in EP300 (22q13) have also been associated with this disease (see Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome 2; 613684).

Pedigree: 
Autosomal dominant
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

Treatment is directed at specific clinical features such as glaucoma and strabismus.  Special education and vocational training may be helpful.  Hearing loss may respond to standard treatment.  Fractures and dislocations should receive prompt attention.  Cardiac anomalies may require surgical correction.

References
Article Title: 

Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Retinal angiomas are a feature of this syndrome, occurring in up to 70% of patients and often diagnosed by about age 25 years.  These hemangioblastomas are often connected to prominent arterioles and venules indicative of their vascular nature.  Capillary hamartomas located on or near the optic nerve may mimic papilledema or papillitis.  However, they may also occur throughout the retina and visual morbidity often results from secondary damage due to hemorrhage, exudates, and traction on the retina. When they are bilateral and multicentric the diagnosis of VHL is highly likely.  Patients with VHL tend to develop such tumors at a younger age and have worse visual outcomes than those in patients without VHL.  The impact on vision is responsible for initial presentation in many patients.

Systemic Features: 

Clinical symptoms typically have their onset during the second decade of life.  These commonly (in 35% of patients) result from the presence of a cerebellar hemangioblastoma while overall more than 60% eventually develop this malignancy.  Up to 40% of patients develop renal cell carcinomas and these are a major cause of death.   However, benign and malignant tumors may appear in many organs including the adrenal glands, pancreas, and spinal cord.  Pheochromocytomas occur in 20-35% of individuals and may be bilateral and multifocal.  These can induce an erythrocythemia. Endolymphatic sac tumors occur in about 10% of patients.  Cystic lesions are often associated with the tumors, especially in the pancreas.

Several subtypes have been proposed based on the pattern of malignancies and the types of mutations found in patients.

Genetics

This is an autosomal dominant cancer susceptibility disorder caused by a mutation in the VHL gene located at 3p26-p25.

There is evidence that the phenotype can be modified by variations in the cyclin D1 gene (CCND1) located at 11q13.

Pedigree: 
Autosomal dominant
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

Local excision of isolated lesions can be considered in selected cases.  Photocoagulation and cryotherapy of retinal hamartomas can be considered although outcomes are variable depending on location and size of the lesions.

References
Article Title: 

A genetic register for von Hippel-Lindau disease

Maddock IR, Moran A, Maher ER, Teare MD, Norman A, Payne SJ, Whitehouse R, Dodd C, Lavin M, Hartley N, Super M, Evans DG. A genetic register for von Hippel-Lindau disease. J Med Genet. 1996 Feb;33(2):120-7.

PubMed ID: 
8929948

Genetic analysis of von Hippel-Lindau disease

Nordstrom-O'Brien M, van der Luijt RB, van Rooijen E, van den Ouweland AM, Majoor-Krakauer DF, Lolkema MP, van Brussel A, Voest EE, Giles RH. Genetic analysis of von Hippel-Lindau disease. Hum Mutat. 2010 May;31(5):521-37.

PubMed ID: 
20151405

Tuberous Sclerosis 1

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

The primary clinical characteristic of tuberous sclerosis of both types 1 and 2 are the occurrence of hamartomas at multiple anatomic sites.  Ocular lesions include those of the eyelids which often appear in early childhood along with other facial angiofibromas (formerly called adenoma sebaceum).  Of greater clinical significance are lesions of the optic nerve and retina reported in about 75% of patients.  The latter (astrocytic hamartomas) may appear as mulberry-like growths typically located in the peripapillary area or as flat translucent lesions located more peripherally.  These are usually static but aggressive growth with retinal detachment and neovascular glaucoma requiring enucleation has been reported in several patients.  Calcification of these lesions may occur in utero or early in life.  These are seldom of clinical significance although optic atrophy has been reported. The iris may have hypopigmented areas.

Systemic Features: 

Hamartomas develop throughout the body in many organs such as the skin, brain, eye, kidney, and heart.  Ninety per cent of patients have skin lesions, including hypomelanotic patches called 'ashleaf' spots that can best be visualized under a Woods lamp.  Symptoms vary widely depending upon the location and size of the growths.  These appear as rhabdomyomas in the heart, angiomyolipomas in the kidneys, bone cysts, and oral fibromas.  Other intracranial growths such as subependymal astrocytomas and cortical tubers are evidence of CNS involvement that can interfere with brain function leading to seizures (in 80% of patients) and subnormal intellectual abilities (60-70% patients) as manifested by learning difficulties, subnormal IQs, as well as social and communication difficulties.   Hypoplasia of dental enamel with pitting in permanent teeth is seen in the majority of patients.  Some progression of tumor size and symptoms may occur.  Most hamartomas are benign but renal carcinoma has been reported in some patients.

Genetics

Many cases (two-thirds) occur sporadically but numerous reported pedigrees are consistent with autosomal dominant inheritance.  Type 1 TSC is caused by mutations in the TSC1 gene (9p34) encoding hamartin and is responsible for the disorder in about 25% of patients.

A more severe phenotype, tuberous sclerosis 2 (613254), is caused by mutations in the TSC2 gene on chromosome 16p13.3 and accounts for the majority of cases of tuberous sclerosis complex.  Genotyping is necessary to determine which mutation is responsible for the TS complex in each case as the phenotypic differences are inadequate to distinguish clinically between types 1 and 2.

New mutations are responsible for 50-70% of cases.

Pedigree: 
Autosomal dominant
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

No effective preventative treatment exists but individual lesions can be surgically removed when indicated.

References
Article Title: 

Identification of the tuberous sclerosis gene TSC1 on chromosome 9q34

van Slegtenhorst M, de Hoogt R, Hermans C, Nellist M, Janssen B, Verhoef S, Lindhout D, van den Ouweland A, Halley D, Young J, Burley M, Jeremiah S, Woodward K, Nahmias J, Fox M, Ekong R, Osborne J, Wolfe J, Povey S, Snell RG, Cheadle JP, Jones AC, Tachataki M, Ravine D, Sampson JR, Reeve MP, Richardson P, Wilmer F, Munro C, Hawkins TL, Sepp T, Ali JB, Ward S, Green AJ, Yates JR, Kwiatkowska J, Henske EP, Short MP, Haines JH, Jozwiak S, Kwiatkowski DJ. Identification of the tuberous sclerosis gene TSC1 on chromosome 9q34. Science. 1997 Aug 8;277(5327):805-8.

PubMed ID: 
9242607

Tuberous sclerosis

Curatolo P, Bombardieri R, Jozwiak S. Tuberous sclerosis. Lancet. 2008 Aug 23;372(9639):657-68. Review.

PubMed ID: 
18722871

Retinoblastoma

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Retinoblastoma is the most common intraocular malignancy of childhood occurring in 1 in 18,000 to 1 in 30,000 live births worldwide. The majority of cases are diagnosed before the age of 3 years. The most common clinical feature at time of diagnosis is leukocoria (white pupillary reflex) followed by strabismus. Other presenting features include intraocular inflammation, spontaneous hyphema, hypopyon, heterochromia, proptosis, spontaneous globe perforation, retinal detachment, cataract, neovascularization of iris, glaucoma, nystagmus, tearing and anisocoria.

Retinoblastoma can usually be observed during fundus exam as a white subretinal or vitreous mass, occasionally with multifocal nodules, typically with calcification of the surface. The growth of the tumor can be endophytic, exophytic or diffuse. Endophytic growth of retinoblastoma occurs when the tumor penetrates the inner limiting membrane of the retina and can result in vitreous seeding and growth and can simulate iridocyclitis or endophthalmitis.  Exophytic growth occurs when the tumor grows into the subretinal space, which results in accumulation of subretinal fluid and retinal detachments. If the tumor infiltrates Bruchs membrane, there is an increased risk of invasion of choroidal vessels or ciliary nerves and vessels. Diffuse growth is rare and characterized by slow infiltration of retina with diffuse thickening.

Imaging studies such as ultrasound, computerized tomography, and MRI can show the extent of tumor and the presence of calcification.

Systemic Features: 

In heritable cases there is an increased risk of developing other malignant neoplasms throughout life such as osteosarcomas, cutaneous melanomas, pinealomas, and thyroid carcinomas. The risk for secondary malignancies is higher in areas treated with radiation, where osteogenic sarcoma, fibrosarcoma and soft tissue sarcomas may occur. Patients should be closely monitored for secondary tumors throughout life.

Genetics

Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumor of the developing retinal cells caused in most cases by mutations in both copies of the RB1 gene.  The RB1 gene is a tumor suppressor gene, located on chromosome 13q14 and is the first human cancer gene to be cloned. The gene codes for the tumor suppressor protein pRB, which by binding to the transcription factor E2F, inhibits the cell from entering the S-phase during mitosis.  Recent evidence suggests that post-mitotic cone precursors are uniquely sensitive to pRB depletion and may be the cells in which retinoblastoma originates.

However, more recent information suggests that the occurrence and viability of retinoblastic cells may be more complex than suggested by simple loss of function of the RB1 alleles.  There is increasing evidence for the role of epigenetic factors such as DNA methylation impacting the differential expression of more than 100 additional genes which may be influencing the retinoblastoma phenotype.  Among these is an upregulation of spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) required for tumor cell survival which, if inhibited, leads to retinoblastoma cell death in vivo and in vitro.

Pedigrees of familial cases have an autosomal dominant pattern but the disease requires homozygosity of the RB1 mutation.  This complicates genetic counseling for retinoblastoma. One third of cases have a germline mutation with a mutation in only one of the two gene copies in every cell.  A somatic mutation in the second allele then leads to  homozygosity causing tumor development.  Since one of the parents contributed the germinal mutation, and there is high penetrance (as much as 85%), this leads to the autosomal dominant pattern in these families. In 6% of retinoblastoma cases with germline mutations the family history is positive. The risk for developing bilateral and multifocal retinoblastoma is high and the age of onset is around 14 months.  This is the case for virtually all bilateral tumors.  The mean number of tumors is about 5 in the two eyes.  The offspring of a parent with bilateral retinoblastoma have a 45% chance of developing a tumor (they have a 50% chance of inheriting the germline mutant allele).  Reduced penetrance of 10 to 15% lowers the expected occurrence of disease from 50% to 45%.

However, two thirds of cases are of non-germinal origin with both somatic mutations occurring in a single retinal progenitor cell.  Because this is a highly unlikely event, these cases are generally unilateral and unifocal with an average age of onset of 24 months. Sporadic cases constitute about 94% of all retinoblastomas, of which about 60% have unilateral disease with no germline mutations.  Individuals who acquire mutations in both alleles somatically (with single, unilateral tumors) do not have a mutation in their germ cells and therefore usually transfer no tumor risk to their offspring.  Laterality and number of tumors alone, however, cannot be used for accurate predictions in this case since about 15% of patients with unilateral and monofocal tumors actually have germline mutations.  This leaves a residual risk of transferring heritability of about 1-5% in unilateral patients without a family history.

To further complicate the story, recent evidence suggests that retinoblastoma is genetically heterogeneous.  About 6% of patients have no RB1 mutation.  In one study, about half of such individuals have up-regulation of the MYCN oncogene (2p24.3) suggesting a second mechanism leading to clinical retinoblastoma.  For unknown reasons, such tumors tend to  be larger, more aggressive, and discovered at an earlier age than unilateral non-familial RB1 tumors.  The MYCN gene product is a transcription factor important for organ development during embryogenesis.  Its amplification has been implicated in about 25% of neuroblastomas.

Pedigree: 
Autosomal dominant
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

Enucleation may be necessary to eliminate the primary tumor, especially large ones, but other treatments can be used successfully to treat smaller tumors and spare vision. Intravenous chemotherapy is the most common treatment, which can be combined with subtenon chemotherapy, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, and plaque brachytherapy. External beam radiation can be used for refractive cases and recurrences. Another treatment alternative is localized ophthalmic artery intra-arterial chemotherapy.

It is necessary to follow all offspring of parents with bilateral tumors throughout the first decade because of the risk for new tumor development, as late as 5 to 7 years of age.   There are even a few case reports of retinoblastoma diagnosed in adults. However, since the retinal cells are generally mature by the age of 2.5 years, such events are very rare.  All parents of children with retinoblastoma should have complete fundus evaluations since rare tumors spontaneously regress leaving retinal scars, which in such a family pattern suggests that a germline mutation was inherited.

Survivors of hereditary retinoblastomas must be followed the rest of their lives, and especially so if radiation treatment was applied, because of the high risk of developing secondary neoplasms.  The risk rises with age.

References
Article Title: 

Characterisation of retinoblastomas without RB1 mutations: genomic, gene expression, and clinical studies

Rushlow DE, Mol BM, Kennett JY, Yee S, Pajovic S, Th?(c)riault BL, Prigoda-Lee NL, Spencer C, Dimaras H, Corson TW, Pang R, Massey C, Godbout R, Jiang Z, Zacksenhaus E, Paton K, Moll AC, Houdayer C, Raizis A, Halliday W, Lam WL, Boutros PC, Lohmann D, Dorsman JC, Gallie BL. Characterisation of retinoblastomas without RB1 mutations: genomic, gene expression, and clinical studies. Lancet Oncol. 2013 Mar 12:327-34.

PubMed ID: 
23498719

A novel retinoblastoma therapy from genomic and epigenetic analyses

Zhang J, Benavente CA, McEvoy J, Flores-Otero J, Ding L, Chen X, Ulyanov A, Wu G, Wilson M, Wang J, Brennan R, Rusch M, Manning AL, Ma J, Easton J, Shurtleff S, Mullighan C, Pounds S, Mukatira S, Gupta P, Neale G, Zhao D, Lu C, Fulton RS, Fulton LL, Hong X, Dooling DJ, Ochoa K, Naeve C, Dyson NJ, Mardis ER, Bahrami A, Ellison D, Wilson RK, Downing JR, Dyer MA. A novel retinoblastoma therapy from genomic and epigenetic analyses. Nature. 2012 Jan 11;481(7381):329-34.

PubMed ID: 
22237022

Ataxia-Telangiectasia

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

The ocular manifestations are striking although of little clinical consequence.  The conjunctivae have prominent telangiectases which usually develop between 3 and 5 years of age.  These apparently do not occur intraocularly.    Oculomotor apraxia is often an earlier sign consisting of difficulty in initiation of smooth pursuit movements which patients may modify by head motion in the direction of attempted gaze.  This aspect can be helpful in diagnosis of AT in young children with cerebellar ataxia. 

Systemic Features: 

Telangiectases are often found in the pinnae, on the cheeks, and on the forearms, usually after the onset of neurological signs.  However, this is also a disorder with multiple systemic signs, the most serious of which are unusual sensitivity to ionizing radiation, excessive chromosomal breakage, a deficiency in the immune system, mild cognitive impairment, and increased risk of malignancies.  Lymphomas, often of B-cell origin, and leukemia, usually of T-cell origin, are the most common malignancies but there is a significantly increased risk of breast cancer as well. Serum IgG2 and IgA levels are often reduced and sinopulmonary infections are common.  Serum alpha-fetoprotein levels are usually increased.  The ataxia is progressive and often begins as truncal unsteadiness with limbs involved later.  It is often accompanied by choreoathetosis and/or dystonia which may result in severe disability by the second decade.  Life span is shortened and many patients succumb to their disease by the 3rd and 4th decades. 

In some famiies with confirmed mutations in ATM the disorder presents with signs of primary torsion dystonia and myoclonus-dystonia.  These signs may resemble an apparent autosomal dominant pattern with parent-child transmission.  It is unclear whether these families represent a variant of AT or a unique disorder.  The latter is suggested by an earlier onset of signs, the lack of cerebellar atrophy,  and the absence of ataxia and ocular telangiectases on initial presentation.  The risk of malignancies in these famiies is high.

Some of these signs have been reported in milder form among heterozygous carriers as well.  The most serious is an increased risk of malignancy, perhaps as much as 6.1 times that of non-carriers.  This combined with the inherent sensitivity to ionizing radiation has led to the suggestion that X-rays should be used with caution, especially when considering mammograms among female relatives.

 

Genetics

This is an autosomal recessive disorder as a result of mutations in the ATM gene located at 11q22-q23.  Affected offspring of consanguineous matings are often homozygous for this mutation whereas those from unrelated parents are usually compound heterozygotes.  There is some evidence of genetic heterogeneity based on both clinical and DNA studies (AT variants).

Other conditions with oculomotor apraxia are: ataxia with oculomotor apraxia 1 (208920), ataxia with oculomotor apraxia 2 (602600), and Cogan type oculomotor apraxia (257550) which lacks other neurologic signs. Oculomotor apraxia may be the presenting sign in Gaucher disease (230800, 230900, 231000).

Pedigree: 
Autosomal recessive
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

No treatment is known for the neurologic manifestations.  However, patients and first degree relatives should be monitored for malignancies.  Childhood vaccinations may lead to widespread viral dissemination as a consequence of the immune defect.

References
Article Title: 

Ataxia telangiectasia: a review

Rothblum-Oviatt C, Wright J, Lefton-Greif MA, McGrath-Morrow SA, Crawford TO, Lederman HM. Ataxia telangiectasia: a review. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2016 Nov 25;11(1):159. Review.

PubMed ID: 
27884168

Cognitive Phenotype in Ataxia-Telangiectasia

Hoche F, Frankenberg E, Rambow J, Theis M, Harding JA, Qirshi M, Seidel K, Barbosa-Sicard E, Porto L, Schmahmann JD, Kieslich M. Cognitive Phenotype in Ataxia-Telangiectasia. Pediatr Neurol. 2014 May 5.

PubMed ID: 
25037873

Variant ataxia-telangiectasia presenting as primary-appearing dystonia in Canadian Mennonites

Saunders-Pullman R, Raymond D, Stoessl AJ, Hobson D, Nakamura T, Pullman S, Lefton D, Okun MS, Uitti R, Sachdev R, Stanley K, San Luciano M, Hagenah J, Gatti R, Ozelius LJ, Bressman SB. Variant ataxia-telangiectasia presenting as primary-appearing dystonia in Canadian Mennonites. Neurology. 2012 Feb 15. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22345219.

PubMed ID: 
22345219
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