John Libbey Eurotext

Bulletin du Cancer


Li-Fraumeni syndrome: update, new data and guidelines for clinical management Volume 88, issue 6, Juin 2001


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Service de génétique, CHU et Inserm EMI 9906, Faculté de médecine et de pharmacie, 76183 Rouen.

The Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is an inherited form of cancers, affecting children and young adults, and characterized by a wide spectrum of tumors, including soft-tissue and bone sarcomas, brain tumours, adenocortical tumours and premenopausal breast cancers. In most of the families, LFS results from germline mutations of the tumor suppressor TP53 gene encoding a transcriptional factor able to regulate cell cycle and apoptosis when DNA damage occurs. Recently, germline mutations of hCHK2, encoding a kinase, regulating cell cycle via Cdc25C and TP53, were identified in affected families. The LFS working group recommendations are the following: (i) positive testing (screening for a germline TP53 mutation in a patient with a tumor) can be offered both to children and adults in the context of genetic counseling associated to psychological support, to confirm the diagnosis of LFS on a molecular basis. This will allow to offer to the patient a regular clinical review in order to avoid a delay to the diagnosis of another tumor; (ii) the 3 indications for positive testing are : a proband with a tumor belonging to the narrow LFS spectrum and developed before age 36 and, at least, a first- or second-degree relative with a LFS spectrum tumor, before age 46, or a patient with multiple primary tumors, 2 of which belonging to the narrow LFS spectrum, the first being developed before 36 or a child with an adrenocortical tumour; (iii) presymptomatic testing must be restricted to adults; (iv) the young age of onset of the LFS tumors, the prognosis of some tumors, the impossibility to ensure an efficient early detection, and the risk for mutation carriers to develop multiple primary tumors justify that prenatal diagnosis might be considered in affected families.