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      Benefits of Screening in von Hippel-Lindau Disease – Comparison of Morbidity Associated with Initial Tumours in Affected Parents and Children

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          Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) is a rare autosomal dominant syndrome characterised by the association of retinal and CNS haemangioblastomas, phaeochromocytoma and renal cell carcinoma. If a child of an affected parent has inherited a VHL mutation or the parent’s mutation cannot be identified, then clinical screening is recommended. We report the clinical features in three parent-offspring pairs where the parents have presented clinically with renal cell carcinoma, phaeochromocytoma, cerebellar haemangioblastoma and retinal haemangioma, and the children have undergone pre-symptomatic screening. During the first screening a 13-year-old boy was diagnosed with bilateral phaeochromocytoma and later developed an endolymphatic sac tumour at 19 years. A right phaeochromocytoma was found in a 12-year-old girl who was screened from the age of 4 years and in a 13-year-old boy screened from 5 years of age. All children were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis. These families demonstrate that clinical screening of children at risk of VHL can detect tumours before the first symptoms arise with a consequent reduction in morbidity. These observations strongly support the recommendation to undertake screening of the children of VHL patients.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Identification of the von Hippel-Lindau disease tumor suppressor gene

           F Latif,  K Tory,  J R Gnarra (1993)
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            Germline mutations in the Von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) gene in families from North America, Europe, and Japan.

            Germline mutation analysis was performed in 469 VHL families from North America, Europe, and Japan. Germline mutations were identified in 300/469 (63%) of the families tested; 137 distinct intragenic germline mutations were detected. Most of the germline VHL mutations (124/137) occurred in 1-2 families; a few occured in four or more families. The common germline VHL mutations were: delPhe76, Asn78Ser, Arg161Stop, Arg167Gln, Arg167Trp, and Leu178Pro. In this large series, it was possible to compare the effects of identical germline mutations in different populations. Germline VHL mutations produced similar cancer phenotypes in Caucasian and Japanese VHL families. Germline VHL mutations were identified that produced three distinct cancer phenotypes: (1) renal carcinoma without pheochromocytoma, (2) renal carcinoma with pheochromocytoma, and (3) pheochromocytoma alone. The catalog of VHL germline mutations with phenotype information should be useful for diagnostic and prognostic studies of VHL and for studies of genotype-phenotype correlations in VHL.
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              Germline mutations in the von Hippel-Lindau disease tumor suppressor gene: correlations with phenotype.

              von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) is an inherited neoplastic disease characterized by a predisposition to develop retinal angiomas, central nervous system hemangioblastomas, renal cell carcinomas, pancreatic cysts, and pheochromocytomas. The VHL gene was recently isolated by positional cloning. The cDNA encodes 852 nucleotides in 3 exons. The VHL gene is unrelated to any known gene families. We identified germline mutations in 85/114 (75%) of VHL families. Clinical heterogeneity is a well-known feature of VHL. VHL families were classified into 2 types based on the presence or absence of pheochromocytoma. The types of mutations responsible for VHL without pheochromocytoma (VHL type 1) differed from those responsible for VHL with pheochromocytoma (VHL type 2). Fifty-six % of the mutations responsible for VHL type 1 were microdeletions/insertions, nonsense mutations, or deletions; 96% of the mutations responsible for VHL type 2 were missense mutations. Specific mutations in codon 238 accounted for 43% of the mutations responsible for VHL type 2. The mutations identified in these families will be useful in presymptomatic diagnosis. The identification of mutations associated with phenotypes contributes to the understanding of fundamental genetic mechanisms of VHL disease.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                June 2006
                23 June 2006
                : 66
                : 1
                : 1-5
                Departments of Endocrinology and Clinical Biochemistry, Barts and The London NHS Trust, London, UK
                93008 Horm Res 2006;66:1–5
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, References: 20, Pages: 5
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