Germline mutations in predisposition genes in pediatric cancer

The frequency of germline mutations in cancer-predisposition genes in children and adolescents with cancer and the implications of such mutations are largely unknown. Previous studies have relied mainly on candidate-gene approaches, which are, by design, limited. To better determine the contribution of germline predisposition mutations to childhood cancer, we used next-generation sequencing, including whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing, to analyze the genomes of 1120 children and adolescents with cancer. We describe the prevalence and spectrum of germline variants among 565 cancer-associated genes, with an emphasis on the analysis of 60 genes that have been associated with autosomal dominant cancer-predisposition syndromes. We also reviewed records of patients with mutations and those without mutations in these 60 genes for information on family history of cancer.

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