Cowden Syndrome


Multiple Hamartoma Syndrome

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 08 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Mutated Genes and Abnormal Protein Expression (7)

How to use this data tableClicking on the Gene or Topic will take you to a separate more detailed page. Sort this list by clicking on a column heading e.g. 'Gene' or 'Topic'.

PTEN 10q23.3 BZS, DEC, CWS1, GLM2, MHAM, TEP1, MMAC1, PTEN1, 10q23del Germline
-PTEN mutations in Cowdon Syndrome
-Occasional AKT1 mutations in Cowden Syndrome
KLLN 10q23 CWS4, KILLIN Germline
-Germline KLLN methylation in Cowden Syndrome and increased risk of cancer
SDHB 1p36.1-p35 IP, SDH, CWS2, PGL4, SDH1, SDH2, SDHIP Germline
-SDHB mutations in Cowdon Syndrome
SDHD 11q23 PGL, CBT1, CWS3, PGL1, QPs3, SDH4, cybS, CII-4 -SDHD mutations in Cowdon Syndrome
PIK3CA 3q26.3 MCM, CWS5, MCAP, PI3K, CLOVE, MCMTC, p110-alpha Germline
-PIK3CA germline alterations in Cowdon S...
RASAL1 12q23-q24 RASAL Germline
-Occasional RASAL1 germline alterations in Cowdon Syndrome.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Useful Links (5 links)

Latest Publications

Taylor A, Delon I, Allinson K, et al.
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor in cowden syndrome: a first report.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2015; 74(4):288-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor is a rare malignancy, accounting for 3% to 10% of all soft-tissue sarcomas. We describe a previously healthy 48-year-old man who was diagnosed as having a high-grade malignant neoplasm involving the facial nerve in the right petrous canal after a 4-year history of deafness. The tumor was resected; histologic appearance and immunophenotype, including patchy but strong positivity for S100 protein, indicated a diagnosis of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor. A PTEN mutation, c.1003C>T p.(Arg335Ter), was subsequently identified as the cause of Cowden syndrome in another family member (a nephew) with dysplastic gangliocytoma of the cerebellum (Lhermitte-Duclos disease), and genetic testing in the proband's daughter indicated that he was an obligate carrier of the mutation. Sequencing of the tumor showed homozygosity for c.1003C>T, confirming the presence of a germline mutation and implying loss of the second allele. With the exception of Lhermitte-Duclos disease, tumors of the nervous system are not a prominent feature of Cowden syndrome, and this is the first report of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor in Cowden syndrome. Sequencing results in the tumor lend evidence to PTEN gene inactivation being implicated in tumorigenesis in this case, suggesting causality rather than chance association.

Syngal S, Brand RE, Church JM, et al.
ACG clinical guideline: Genetic testing and management of hereditary gastrointestinal cancer syndromes.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2015; 110(2):223-62; quiz 263 [PubMed] Related Publications
This guideline presents recommendations for the management of patients with hereditary gastrointestinal cancer syndromes. The initial assessment is the collection of a family history of cancers and premalignant gastrointestinal conditions and should provide enough information to develop a preliminary determination of the risk of a familial predisposition to cancer. Age at diagnosis and lineage (maternal and/or paternal) should be documented for all diagnoses, especially in first- and second-degree relatives. When indicated, genetic testing for a germline mutation should be done on the most informative candidate(s) identified through the family history evaluation and/or tumor analysis to confirm a diagnosis and allow for predictive testing of at-risk relatives. Genetic testing should be conducted in the context of pre- and post-test genetic counseling to ensure the patient's informed decision making. Patients who meet clinical criteria for a syndrome as well as those with identified pathogenic germline mutations should receive appropriate surveillance measures in order to minimize their overall risk of developing syndrome-specific cancers. This guideline specifically discusses genetic testing and management of Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (AFAP), MUTYH-associated polyposis (MAP), Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, juvenile polyposis syndrome, Cowden syndrome, serrated (hyperplastic) polyposis syndrome, hereditary pancreatic cancer, and hereditary gastric cancer.

Murnyák B, Szepesi R, Hortobágyi T
[Molecular genetics of familial tumour syndromes of the central nervous system].
Orv Hetil. 2015; 156(5):171-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although most of the central nervous system tumours are sporadic, rarely they are associated with familial tumour syndromes. These disorders usually present with an autosomal dominant inheritance and neoplasia develops at younger age than in sporadic cases. Most of these tumours are bilateral, multiplex or multifocal. The causative mutations occur in genes involved in cell cycle regulation, cell growth, differentiation and DNA repair. Studying these hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes associated with nervous system tumours can facilitate the deeper understanding of the molecular background of sporadic tumours and the development of novel therapeutic agents. This review is an update on hereditary tumour syndromes with nervous system involvement with emphasis on molecular genetic characteristics and their clinical implications.

Sherman SK, Maxwell JE, Qian Q, et al.
Esophageal cancer in a family with hamartomatous tumors and germline PTEN frameshift and SMAD7 missense mutations.
Cancer Genet. 2015 Jan-Feb; 208(1-2):41-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
Germline mutations in the PTEN tumor-suppressor gene cause autosomal-dominant conditions such as Cowden and Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndromes with variable presentations, including hamartomatous gastrointestinal tumors, dermatologic abnormalities, neurologic symptoms, and elevated cancer risk. We describe a father and son with extensive hamartomatous gastrointestinal polyposis who both developed early-onset esophageal cancer. Exome sequencing identified a novel germline PTEN frameshift mutation (c.568_569insC, p.V191Sfs*11). In addition, a missense mutation of SMAD7 (c.115G>A, p.G39R) with an allele frequency of 0.3% in the Exome Variant Server was detected in both affected individuals. Fluorescence in situ hybridization for PTEN in the resected esophageal cancer specimen demonstrated no PTEN copy loss in malignant cells; however, results of an immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated a loss of PTEN protein expression. While the risks of many cancers are elevated in the PTEN hamartoma tumor syndromes, association between esophageal adenocarcinoma and these syndromes has not been previously reported. Esophageal adenocarcinoma and extensive polyposis/ganglioneuromatosis could represent less common features of these syndromes, potentially correlating with this novel PTEN frameshift and early protein termination genotype. Alternatively, because simultaneous disruption of both the PTEN and TGF-β/SMAD4 pathways is associated with development of esophageal cancer in a mouse model and because SMAD4 mutations cause gastrointestinal hamartomas in juvenile polyposis syndrome, the SMAD7 mutation may represent an additional modifier of these individuals' PTEN-mutant phenotype.

Mahdi H, Mester JL, Nizialek EA, et al.
Germline PTEN, SDHB-D, and KLLN alterations in endometrial cancer patients with Cowden and Cowden-like syndromes: an international, multicenter, prospective study.
Cancer. 2015; 121(5):688-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Endometrial cancer has been recognized only recently as a major component of Cowden syndrome (CS). Germline alterations in phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN; PTEN_mut+), succinate dehydrogenase B/C/D (SDHB-D; SDHx_var+), and killin (KLLN_Me+) cause CS and Cowden syndrome-like (CSL) phenotypes. This study was aimed at identifying the prevalence and clinicopathologic predictors of germline PTEN_mut+, SDHx_var+, and KLLN_Me+ in CS/CSL patients presenting with endometrial cancer.
METHODS: PTEN and SDHB-D mutation and KLLN promoter methylation analyses were performed for 371 prospectively enrolled patients (2005-2011). PTEN protein was analyzed from patient-derived lymphoblast lines. The PTEN Cleveland Clinic (CC) score is a weighted, regression-based risk calculator giving the a priori risk for PTEN_mut+. Demographic and clinicopathologic features were correlated with the specific gene.
RESULTS: Germline PTEN_mut+, SDHx_var+, and KLLN_Me+ were found in 7%, 9.8%, and 10.5% of informative samples, respectively. Predictors of PTEN_mut+ included an age ≤ 50 years (odds ratio [OR] for an age < 30 years, 6.1 [P = .015]; OR for an age of 30-50 years, 4.4 [P = .001]), macrocephaly (OR, 14.4; P < .001), a higher CC score (OR for a 1-U increment, 1.35; P < .001), a PTEN protein level within the lowest quartile (OR, 5.1; P = .039), and coexisting renal cancer (OR, 5.7; P = .002). KLLN_Me+ patients were on average 8 years younger than KLLN_Me- patients (44 vs 52 years, P = .018). Predictors of KLLN_Me+ were a younger age and a higher CC score. On the other hand, no clinical predictors of SDH_var+ were found.
CONCLUSIONS: Clinical predictors of PTEN and KLLN alterations, but not SDHx_var+, were identified. These predictors should alert the treating physician to potential heritable risk and the need for referral to genetic professionals. High-risk cancer surveillance and prophylactic surgery of the uterus may be considered for KLLN_Me+ patients similarly to PTEN_mut+ patients.

Seo M, Cho N, Ahn HS, Moon HG
Cowden syndrome presenting as breast cancer: imaging and clinical features.
Korean J Radiol. 2014 Sep-Oct; 15(5):586-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
Cowden syndrome is an uncommon, autosomal dominant disease which is characterized by multiple hamartomas of the skin, mucous membrane, brain, breast, thyroid, and gastrointestinal tract. The diagnosis of Cowden syndrome implicates an increased risk of developing breast cancer. We report a case of a 22-year-old woman with Cowden syndrome that presented as breast cancer with concomitant bilateral exuberant benign masses in both breasts.

Uller W, Fishman SJ, Alomari AI
Overgrowth syndromes with complex vascular anomalies.
Semin Pediatr Surg. 2014; 23(4):208-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Management of overgrowth syndromes with complex vascular anomalies is challenging. Careful analysis of the various clinical features by an interdisciplinary team of physicians experienced in this field is paramount to proper diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. In this article, we focus on the spectrum of the clinical presentation and the management strategies of the most common overgrowth syndromes with complex vascular anomalies.

Forte G, Grossi V, Celestini V, et al.
Characterization of the rs2802292 SNP identifies FOXO3A as a modifier locus predicting cancer risk in patients with PJS and PHTS hamartomatous polyposis syndromes.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:661 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hamartomatous polyposis syndromes (HPS) are inherited conditions associated with high cancer risk. They include the Peutz-Jeghers and the PTEN hamartoma tumor syndromes, which are caused by mutations in the LKB1 and PTEN genes, respectively. Estimation of cancer risk is crucial in order to optimize surveillance, but no prognostic markers are currently available for these conditions. Our study relies on a 'signal transduction' hypothesis based on the crosstalk between LKB1/AMPK and PI3K/PTEN/Akt signaling at the level of the tumor suppressor protein FoxO3A. Interestingly, the FOXO3A rs2802292 G-allele was shown to be associated with longevity, reduced risk of aging-related diseases and increased expression of FoxO3A mRNA.
METHODS: We typed rs2802292 in 150 HPS unrelated patients and characterized the expression of FoxO3A by quantitative PCR and immunoblot analysis in human intestinal cell lines.
RESULTS: We found a significantly higher risk for malignancies in females and TT genotype carriers compared to patients having at least one G-allele. Subgroup analysis for each HPS syndrome revealed a G-allele-associated beneficial effect on cancer risk occurring mainly in males. Molecular characterization of human intestinal cell lines showed that the G-allele significantly correlated with increased basal expression of FoxO3A mRNA and protein.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest an inverse correlation between the protective allele (G) copy number and cancer risk, and might be useful to optimize surveillance in HPS patients. Further investigations are needed to confirm our hypothesis and to ascertain whether differences in therapeutic response exist across genotypes.

Daly MB, Pilarski R, Axilbund JE, et al.
Genetic/familial high-risk assessment: breast and ovarian, version 1.2014.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2014; 12(9):1326-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
During the past few years, several genetic aberrations that may contribute to increased risks for development of breast and/or ovarian cancers have been identified. The NCCN Guidelines for Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian focus specifically on the assessment of genetic mutations in BRCA1/BRCA2, TP53, and PTEN, and recommend approaches to genetic testing/counseling and management strategies in individuals with these mutations. This portion of the NCCN Guidelines includes recommendations regarding diagnostic criteria and management of patients with Cowden Syndrome/PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome.

Beamer LC
Cowden syndrome: what oncology nurses need to know about increased risk of developing certain cancers.
Oncol Nurs Forum. 2014; 41(5):555-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cowden syndrome (CS) is a genetic disorder characterized by multiple benign tissue growths (i.e., hamartomas) and an increased risk of developing specific cancers, such as breast, thyroid, kidney, endometrial, or colorectal cancer (Genetics Home Reference, 2012). This genetic syndrome was named after a person diagnosed with the disorder (Lloyd & Dennis, 1963). CS is part of a larger syndrome called PTEN hamartomatous syndrome, which also includes Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, PTEN-related Proteus syndrome, and Proteus-like syndrome (Eng, 2014).

Mester J, Eng C
Cowden syndrome: recognizing and managing a not-so-rare hereditary cancer syndrome.
J Surg Oncol. 2015; 111(1):125-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cowden syndrome (CS) is an autosomal dominant hereditary cancer syndrome causing increased risk for breast, thyroid, renal, uterine, and other cancers as well as benign neoplasias and neurodevelopmental concerns. Timely diagnosis of affected patients is key, as early recognition allows for high-risk screening and other preventative measures prior to a patient enduring multiple cancer diagnoses. This review will highlight the cardinal features of CS and management recommendations for affected patients.

Rodrigues AL, Carvalho A, Cabral R, et al.
Multiple nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome associated with congenital orbital teratoma, caused by a PTCH1 frameshift mutation.
Genet Mol Res. 2014; 13(3):5654-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gorlin-Goltz syndrome, or nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), is a rare autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations in the PTCH1 gene and shows a high level of penetrance and variable expressivity. The syndrome is characterized by developmental abnormalities or neoplasms and is diagnosed with 2 major criteria, or with 1 major and 2 minor criteria. Here, we report a new clinical manifestation associated with this syndrome in a boy affected by NBCCS who had congenital orbital teratoma at birth. Later, at the age of 15 years, he presented with 4 major and 4 minor criteria of NBCCS, including multiple basal cell carcinoma and 2 odontogenic keratocysts of the jaw, both confirmed by histology, more than 5 palmar pits, calcification of the cerebral falx, extensive meningeal calcifications, macrocephaly, hypertelorism, frontal bosses, and kyphoscoliosis. PTCH1 mutation analysis revealed the heterozygous germline mutation c.290dupA. This mutation generated a frameshift within exon 2 and an early premature stop codon (p.Asn97LysfsX43), predicting a truncated protein with complete loss of function. Identification of this mutation is useful for genetic counseling. Although the clinical symptoms are well-known, our case contributes to the understanding of phenotypic variability in NBCCS, highlighting that PTCH1 mutations cannot be used for predicting disease burden and reinforces the need of a multidisciplinary team in the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of NBCCS patients.

Smpokou P, Fox VL, Tan WH
PTEN hamartoma tumour syndrome: early tumour development in children.
Arch Dis Child. 2015; 100(1):34-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to report the earliest age of diagnosis of common clinical findings in children with PTEN hamartoma tumour syndrome (PHTS).
DESIGN: Medical records of children with PHTS were reviewed; data included growth measurements, presence or absence of specific clinical manifestations and tumours, and documented ages of diagnosis.
SETTING: Children with PHTS evaluated at Boston Children's Hospital from 1996 to 2011.
PATIENTS: The cohort included 34 children diagnosed with PHTS via genetic testing, under the age of 21 years. Of these, 23 were male and 11 female. The mean age at their last documented clinical evaluation was 13.6 years. The mean follow-up time was 7.5 years.
RESULTS: Macrocephaly and developmental/intellectual disability were consistent findings. Pigmented penile macules were noted in all males examined for this finding. Thyroid nodules, found in half the children screened with ultrasound, were diagnosed as early as at 5 years of age. Thyroid carcinoma, identified in 12% of the children in this cohort, was diagnosed as early as at 7 years of age. Other tumours included renal cell carcinoma diagnosed at 11 years of age and granulosa cell tumour of the ovary and colonic ganglioneuroma, each diagnosed at 16 years of age.
CONCLUSIONS: Specific clinical findings and tumours are characteristic in children with PHTS. Tumour development occurs in young children with this condition, which necessitates early surveillance, especially of the thyroid.

Erickson RP
Recent advances in the study of somatic mosaicism and diseases other than cancer.
Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2014; 26:73-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Somatic mosaicism is well appreciated as a cause of cancer and, possibly, aging. Somatic mosaicism as the cause of other diseases is becoming more appreciated. It is especially important in the causation of deforming diseases (e.g., Proteus syndrome; Sturge-Weber syndrome) which are not inherited because early developmental expression is lethal. It also known to make an important contribution to neurological, dermatological, hematological and other diseases (and probably all diseases but many in which it is harder to detect). There have been exciting recent advances in the detection of somatic mosaicism. In particular, for many diseases of somatic overgrowth in which somatic mosaicism as the sole cause was predicted, the gene somatically mutated has been found. A limited number of pathways seem involved in these disorders, some of which are also implicated in cancer.

Wee JS, Mortimer PS, Lindhurst MJ, et al.
A limited form of proteus syndrome with bilateral plantar cerebriform collagenomas and varicose veins secondary to a mosaic AKT1 mutation.
JAMA Dermatol. 2014; 150(9):990-3 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Proteus syndrome is an extremely rare disorder of mosaic postnatal overgrowth affecting multiple tissues including bone, soft tissue, and skin. It typically manifests in early childhood with asymmetric and progressive skeletal overgrowth that leads to severe distortion of the skeleton and disability. The genetic basis has recently been identified as a somatic activating mutation in the AKT1 gene, which encodes an enzyme mediating cell proliferation and apoptosis.
OBSERVATIONS: We present a 33-year-old man who developed plantar cerebriform collagenomas on the soles of both feet and varicose veins in early childhood, in the absence of any skeletal or other connective tissue abnormality. Although the patient did not meet the diagnostic criteria for Proteus syndrome, he was found to have the c.49G>A, p.Glu17Lys AKT1 mutation in lesional skin but not in his blood.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: To our knowledge, this is the mildest molecularly confirmed case of Proteus syndrome, occurring in the absence of the characteristic skeletal overgrowth. These findings extend the spectrum of Proteus syndrome pathological characteristics and suggest that somatic mutations late in development and restricted in distribution cause subtle clinical presentations that do not meet the published clinical criteria.

Nakanishi A, Kitagishi Y, Ogura Y, Matsuda S
The tumor suppressor PTEN interacts with p53 in hereditary cancer (Review).
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(6):1813-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Numerous hereditary syndromes caused by mutations in multiple tumor suppressor genes can cause cancers. Germline mutations in PTEN and p53 tumor suppressor cause Cowden syndrome and Li-Fraumeni syndrome, respectively. There exists some phenotypic overlap in these syndromes, and they are associated with high risks of breast cancer. The tumor suppressor protein PTEN is a dual-specificity phosphatase which has protein phosphatase activity and lipid phosphatase activity that antagonizes PI3K activity. Cells that lack PTEN have constitutively higher levels of PIP3 and activated downstream targets. PTEN gene is recognized as one of the most frequently mutated or mutated in many human cancers. Li-Fraumeni syndrome results from germline mutations of the tumor suppressor p53 gene encoding a transcriptional factor able to regulate cell cycle and apoptosis when DNA damage occurs. The p53 protein cooperates with PTEN and might be an essential blockage in development of mammary tumors. Many findings have demonstrated that PTEN as well as p53 plays a critical role in DNA damage response. This review summarizes the function of PTEN and p53 in carcinogenic cell signaling. In addition, we will discuss the role of PTEN signaling through its interaction with p53 and MDM2 pathways for the potential implications in hereditary cancer prevention and therapeutic intervention.

Cheung KM, Lam CW, Chan YK, et al.
Atypical focal cortical dysplasia in a patient with Cowden syndrome.
Hong Kong Med J. 2014; 20(2):165-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
A macrocephalic girl presented with generalised epilepsy due to focal cortical dysplasia. She later developed multiple hamartomatous lesions and was diagnosed to have Cowden syndrome. The diagnosis was confirmed by identification of a novel frameshift mutation in the PTEN gene of the patient.

Ngeow J, Ni Y, Tohme R, et al.
Germline alterations in RASAL1 in Cowden syndrome patients presenting with follicular thyroid cancer and in individuals with apparently sporadic epithelial thyroid cancer.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(7):E1316-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: RASAL1 has recently been identified as an important tumor suppressor for sporadic thyroid tumorigenesis, particularly for follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer is an important component of Cowden syndrome (CS). Patients with germline PTEN mutations have an overrepresentation of FTC over other histological subtypes.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of germline RASAL1 mutations in PTEN mutation-positive and wild type CS patients.
SETTING AND DESIGN: We reviewed our prospective database of more than 3000 CS/CS-like patients and retrospectively identified a subset of patients who presented with thyroid cancer for RASAL1 mutation analysis. We reviewed data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) sporadic papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) database with germline data for RASAL1 mutations to determine the prevalence of germline RASAL1 mutations in CS-related thyroid cancer patients.
RESULTS: We scanned 155 CS/CS-like patients with thyroid cancer for germline RASAL1 mutations. Of the 155 patients, 39 had known germline pathogenic PTEN mutations (PTEN(mut+)) and 116 were PTEN mutation negative (PTEN(WT)). Among these 155 patients, we identified RASAL1 germline alterations suspected as being deleterious in two patients. Both were patients with PTEN(WT) who had FTC (2/48, 4.1%). This was in contrast to patients with PTEN(mut+) who had thyroid cancer (0/39). Of 339 sporadic patients with PTC from the TCGA study, 62 (18%) had germline RASAL1 variants predicted to be deleterious. TCGA patients with follicular-variant PTC were statistically overrepresented (21/62, 34%) among patients with deleterious RASAL1 variants compared with those without (57/277, 21%).
CONCLUSIONS: Germline RASAL1 alterations are uncommon in patients with CS but may not be infrequent in patients with apparently sporadic follicular-variant PTC.

Salo-Mullen EE, Shia J, Brownell I, et al.
Mosaic partial deletion of the PTEN gene in a patient with Cowden syndrome.
Fam Cancer. 2014; 13(3):459-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cowden syndrome is an autosomal dominant condition caused by pathogenic mutations in the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) gene. Only a small proportion of identified pathogenic mutations have been reported to be large deletions and rearrangements. We report on a female patient with a previous history of breast ductal carcinoma in situ who presented to our institution for management of gastrointestinal hamartomatous polyposis. Although several neoplastic predisposition syndromes were considered, genetic evaluation determined that the patient met clinical diagnostic criteria for Cowden syndrome. Array-based comparative genomic hybridization was performed and revealed a mosaic partial deletion of the PTEN gene. Follow-up clinical history including bilateral thyroid nodules, dermatological findings, and a new primary "triple-negative" adenocarcinoma of the contralateral breast are discussed. We highlight the need for recognition and awareness of mosaicism as it may provide an explanation for variable phenotypic presentations and may alter the genetic counseling risk assessment of affected individuals and family members.

Stanich PP, Pilarski R, Rock J, et al.
Colonic manifestations of PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome: case series and systematic review.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(7):1833-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
AIM: To investigate our clinical experience with the colonic manifestations of phosphatase and tensin homolog on chromosome ten (PTEN) hamartoma tumor syndrome (PHTS) and to perform a systematic literature review regarding the same.
METHODS: This study was approved by the appropriate institutional review board prior to initiation. A clinical genetics database was searched for patients with PHTS or a component syndrome that received gastrointestinal endoscopy or pathology interpretation at our center. These patient's records were retrospectively reviewed for clinical characteristics (including family history and genetic testing), endoscopy results and pathology findings. We also performed a systematic review of the literature for case series of PHTS or component syndromes that reported gastrointestinal manifestations and investigations published after consensus diagnostic criteria were established in 1996. These results were compiled and reported.
RESULTS: Eight patients from our institution met initial inclusion criteria. Of these, 5 patients underwent 4.2 colonoscopies at mean age 45.8 ± 10.8 years. All were found to have colon polyps during their clinical course and polyp histology included adenoma, hyperplastic, ganglioneuroma and juvenile. No malignant lesions were identified. Two had multiple histologic types. One patient underwent colectomy due to innumerable polyps and concern for future malignant potential. Systematic literature review of PHTS patients undergoing endoscopy revealed 107 patients receiving colonoscopy at mean age 37.4 years. Colon polyps were noted in 92.5% and multiple colon polyp histologies were reported in 53.6%. Common polyp histologies included hyperplastic (43.6%), adenoma (40.4%), hamartoma (38.3%), ganglioneuroma (33%) and inflammatory (24.5%) polyps. Twelve (11.2%) patients had colorectal cancer at mean age 46.7 years (range 35-62). Clinical outcomes secondary to colon polyposis and malignancy were not commonly reported.
CONCLUSION: PHTS has a high prevalence of colon polyposis with multiple histologic types. It should be considered a mixed polyposis syndrome. Systematic review found an increased prevalence of colorectal cancer and we recommend initiating colonoscopy for colorectal cancer surveillance at age 35 years.

Pradella LM, Evangelisti C, Ligorio C, et al.
A novel deleterious PTEN mutation in a patient with early-onset bilateral breast cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: An early age at Breast Cancer (BC) onset may be a hallmark of inherited predisposition, but BRCA1/2 mutations are only found in a minority of younger BC patients. Among the others, a fraction may carry mutations in rarer BC genes, such as TP53, STK11, CDH1 and PTEN. As the identification of women harboring such mutations allows for targeted risk-management, the knowledge of associated manifestations and an accurate clinical and family history evaluation are warranted.
CASE PRESENTATION: We describe the case of a woman who developed an infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the right breast at the age of 32, a contralateral BC at age 36 and another BC of the right breast at 40. When she was 39 years-old, during a dermatological examination, mucocutaneous features suggestive of Cowden Syndrome, a disorder associated to germ-line PTEN mutations, were noticed. PTEN genetic testing revealed the novel c.71A > T (p.Asp24Val) mutation, whose deleterious effect, suggested by conservation data and in silico tools, was definitely demonstrated by the incapacity of mutant PTEN to inhibit Akt phosphorylation when used to complement PTEN-null cells. In BC tissue, despite the absence of LOH or somatic mutations of PTEN, Akt phosphorylation was markedly increased in comparison to normal tissue, thus implying additional somatic events into the deregulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and, presumably, into carcinogenesis. Hence, known oncogenic mutations in PIK3CA (exons 10 and 21) and AKT1 (exon 2) were screened in tumor DNA with negative results, which suggests that the responsible somatic event(s) is a different, uncommon one.
CONCLUSION: This case stresses the importance of clinical/genetic assessment of early-onset BC patients in order to identify mutation carriers, who are at high risk of new events, so requiring tailored management. Moreover, it revealed a novel PTEN mutation with pathogenic effect, pointing out, however, the need for further efforts to elucidate the molecular steps of PTEN-associated carcinogenesis.

Schmidt JW, Wehde BL, Sakamoto K, et al.
Stat5 regulates the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt1 pathway during mammary gland development and tumorigenesis.
Mol Cell Biol. 2014; 34(7):1363-77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Stat5 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 5) is an essential mediator of cytokine receptor signaling and plays important roles in the proliferation of alveolar progenitors and the survival of functionally differentiated epithelial cells in the mammary gland. A deregulated expression and activation of Stat5 leads to precocious alveolar development in the absence of pregnancy hormones, impaired mammary gland remodeling following the cessation of lactation, and mammary tumor formation. We reported previously that Stat5 induces the transcription of the Akt1 gene from a novel promoter. In this report, we provide experimental evidence that Akt1 is an essential mediator for the biological function of Stat5 as a survival factor. Additionally, Stat5 controls the expression of the regulatory and catalytic subunits of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) (p85α and p110α), thereby greatly augmenting signaling through the prosurvival PI3K/Akt pathway. In agreement with this model, we observed that the constitutive activation of Stat5 cooperates with the loss of function of the tumor suppressor PTEN by accelerating the formation of preneoplastic lesions and mammary tumors. The mammary gland-specific ablation of Stat5 is sufficient to prevent mammary carcinogenesis in a genuine mouse model for Cowden syndrome. Therefore, targeting the Jak2/Stat5 pathway might be a suitable strategy to prevent breast cancer in patients that carry a mutant PTEN allele.

Galatola M, Miele E, Strisciuglio C, et al.
Synergistic effect of interleukin-10-receptor variants in a case of early-onset ulcerative colitis.
World J Gastroenterol. 2013; 19(46):8659-70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
AIM: To investigated the molecular cause of very early-onset ulcerative colitis (UC) in an 18-mo-old affected child.
METHODS: We analysed the interleukin-10 (IL10) receptor genes at the DNA and RNA level in the proband and his relatives. Beta catenin and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) receptors were analysed in the proteins extracted from peripheral blood cells of the proband, his relatives and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome (PHTS) patients. Samples were also collected from the proband's inflamed colorectal mucosa and compared to healthy and tumour mucosa collected from a FAP patient and patients affected by sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). Finally, we examined mesalazine and azathioprine effects on primary fibroblasts stabilised from UC and FAP patients.
RESULTS: Our patient was a compound heterozygote for the IL10RB E47K polymorphism, inherited from his father, and for a novel point mutation within the IL10RA promoter (the -413G->T), inherited from his mother. Beta catenin and tumour necrosis factor α receptors-I (TNFRI) protein were both over-expressed in peripheral blood cells of the proband's relatives more than the proband. However, TNFRII was over-expressed only in the proband. Finally, both TNFα-receptors were shown to be under-expressed in the inflamed colon mucosa and colorectal cancer tissue compared to healthy colon mucosa. Consistent with this observation, mesalazine and azathioprine induced, in primary fibroblasts, IL10RB and TNFRII over-expression and TNFRI and TNFα under-expression. We suggest that β-catenin and TNFRI protein expression in peripheral blood cells could represent molecular markers of sub-clinical disease in apparently healthy relatives of patients with early-onset UC.
CONCLUSION: A synergistic effect of several variant alleles of the IL10 receptor genes, inherited in a Mendelian manner, is involved in UC onset in this young child.

Peiretti V, Mussa A, Feyles F, et al.
Thyroid involvement in two patients with Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome.
J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol. 2013; 5(4):261-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome (BRRs) is an overgrowth disorder characterized by macrocephaly, pigmented maculae of the glans penis, and benign mesodermal hamartomas (primarily subcutaneous and visceral lipomas, multiple hemangiomas, and intestinal polyps). Dysmorphic features as well as delayed neuropsychomotor development can also be present. These patients have also a higher risk of developing tumors, as the gene involved in BRRs is phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN), and up to 30% of the patients have thyroid involvement consistent with multinodular goiter, thyroid adenoma, differentiated non-medullary thyroid cancer, or Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Here, we report two cases of BRRs at opposite ends of its phenotypic spectrum: clinical manifestations of the first patient were more severe, while the second one showed only few signs and had no family history of the disease. Both cases developed thyroid disorders detected by thyroid ultrasound screening. We believe that it is important for clinicians, specifically pediatric endocrinologists, to know that this syndrome can appear in very subtle ways and also to be aware that thyroid nodules and intestinal polyps seem to be its most frequently encountered features.

Vanderver A, Tonduti D, Kahn I, et al.
Characteristic brain magnetic resonance imaging pattern in patients with macrocephaly and PTEN mutations.
Am J Med Genet A. 2014; 164A(3):627-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe an MRI phenotype seen in a series of patients with mutations in PTEN who have clinical features consistent with PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome (PHTS). Retrospective review of clinical data and MRI was performed in 23 subjects evaluated in four different tertiary care centers with clinical programs in inherited disorders of the white matter. Patients were referred due to abnormal MRI features and abnormal PTEN sequencing was identified. All subjects had significant macrocephaly (on average >4 SD above the mean), developmental delay with or without autism spectrum disorder and uniform MRI features of enlarged perivascular spaces and multifocal periventricular white matter abnormalities. The phenotype of PHTS may include MRI abnormalities such as multifocal periventricular white matter abnormalities and enlarged perivascular spaces. These neuroimaging findings, in association with macrocephaly and developmental delay, should prompt consideration of PTEN as a diagnostic possibility.

Schmid GL, Kässner F, Uhlig HH, et al.
Sirolimus treatment of severe PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome: case report and in vitro studies.
Pediatr Res. 2014; 75(4):527-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) hamartoma tumor syndrome (PHTS) is caused by germ line mutations in the PTEN gene. Symptoms include cancer predisposition, immune deviations, and lipomas/lipomatosis. No causal standard therapy is available. We describe a therapeutic attempt with the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor sirolimus for a PHTS patient suffering from thymus hyperplasia and lipomatosis. We furthermore assessed the in vitro effects of sirolimus and other inhibitors on lipoma cells of the patient.
METHODS: The patient underwent clinical and blood examinations and whole-body magnetic resonance imaging to assess tumor sizes. Lipoma cells of the patient were incubated with inhibitors of the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway to analyze the effects on proliferation, adipocyte differentiation, and survival in vitro.
RESULTS: Sirolimus treatment improved somatic growth and reduced thymus volume. These effects diminished over the treatment period of 19 mo. Sirolimus decreased lipoma cell proliferation and adipocyte differentiation in vitro but did not cause apoptosis. PI3K and AKT inhibitors induced apoptosis significantly.
CONCLUSION: Sirolimus treatment led to an improvement of the patient's clinical status and a transient reduction of the thymus. Our in vitro findings point to PI3K and AKT inhibitors as potential treatment options for patients with severe forms of PHTS.

Haas NB, Nathanson KL
Hereditary kidney cancer syndromes.
Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2014; 21(1):81-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Inherited susceptibility to kidney cancer is a fascinating and complex topic. Our knowledge about types of genetic syndromes associated with an increased risk of disease is continually expanding. Currently, there are 10 syndromes associated with an increased risk of all types of kidney cancer, which are reviewed herein. Clear cell kidney cancer is associated with von Hippel Lindau disease, chromosome 3 translocations, PTEN hamartomatous syndrome, and mutations in the BAP1 gene as well as several of the genes encoding the proteins comprising the succinate dehydrogenase complex (SDHB/C/D). Type 1 papillary kidney cancers arise in conjunction with germline mutations in MET and type 2 as part of hereditary leiomyomatosis and kidney cell cancer (fumarate hydratase [FH] mutations). Chromophone and oncocytic kidney cancers are predominantly associated with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome. Patients with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) commonly have angiomyolipomas and rarely their malignant counterpart epithelioid angiomyolipomas. The targeted therapeutic options for the kidney cancer associated with these diseases are just starting to expand and are an area of active clinical research.

Porto AC, Roider E, Ruzicka T
Cowden Syndrome: report of a case and brief review of literature.
An Bras Dermatol. 2013 Nov-Dec; 88(6 Suppl 1):52-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
We present the case of a female patient with facial cutaneous lesions, a cobblestone-like pattern of the oral mucosa, and verruciform lesions on the hand since her youth. She reported a history of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, melanoma and multiple benign tumors and cysts. PTEN gene analysis was performed and confirmed Cowden Syndrome, a rare genodermatosis with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance, characterized by multiple hamartomas. The phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) gene negatively regulates cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. Loss of PTEN function contributes to an increased risk of cancer. We emphasize the importance of early detection and accurate management of Cowden Syndrome.

Henderson CJ, Ngeow J, Collins MH, et al.
Increased prevalence of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders in pediatric PTEN hamartoma tumor syndromes.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014; 58(5):553-60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The PTEN hamartoma tumor syndromes (PHTSs) are a collection of disorders caused by germline mutations of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN. Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs) are rare diseases characterized by food-induced, eosinophil-dominant inflammation in various segments of the gastrointestinal tract. On the basis of our clinical observations of several patients with EGID-PHTS, we investigated whether there is an association between these 2 disorders.
METHODS: The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside (i2b2) warehouse was queried for the years 2007 to 2012 using International Classification of Diseases-9 codes for PTEN-related diseases; the results were cross-referenced with participants enrolled in the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorder's EGID database to identify patients with both disorders. In an effort to replicate our findings, the Cleveland Clinic Genomic Medicine Institute PTEN database was queried for cases between 2005 and 2012. Inclusion criteria were age ≤ 18 years, history of PHTS, and an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and/or colonoscopy with at least 1 histologic EGID diagnosis confirmed by a CCHMC pathologist. The Pearson χ(2) test was used to determine the odds of EGID enrichment in PHTS.
RESULTS: Of the 1,058,260 CCHMC distinct patients identified by the i2b2 search, 53 had clinical diagnoses suggestive of PHTS. Thirteen of the 53 had PTEN mutations, with 8 of 13 (62%) having had an EGD and/or colonoscopy. Five of the 8 had confirmed EGID. At the Cleveland Clinic, 3 of 75 patients (3/4 who had EGD and/or colonoscopy) with PHTS had confirmed EGID. CCHMC i2b2 query data showed a substantial enrichment of EGIDs in PHTSs (odds ratio  272; confidence interval 89-831, P < 0.0001). An EGID prevalence estimate from the i2b2 query supported a marked enrichment of EGIDs in PHTSs in the Cleveland Clinic database (P < 0.0001). Among the 8 subjects with EGIDs and PHTSs, the age at EGID and PHTS diagnosis was 7.6 ± 3.2 and 7.9 ± 5.8 years, respectively. Patients with EGID-PHTS had excess eosinophils in biopsies of the esophagus (75%), stomach (38%), and colon (13%), with a notable presence of eosinophil-rich gastrointestinal polyposis (88%).
CONCLUSIONS: EGID is a previously unrecognized comorbid disease in pediatric patients with PHTS. These data suggest a potential role of PTEN in contributing to EGID susceptibility.

Marsh Durban V, Jansen M, Davies EJ, et al.
Epithelial-specific loss of PTEN results in colorectal juvenile polyp formation and invasive cancer.
Am J Pathol. 2014; 184(1):86-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cowden syndrome (CS) is a rare autosomal dominant cancer-prone disorder caused by germ-line mutation of the phosphatase and tensin homolog mutated on chromosome 10 (PTEN) tumor-suppressor gene. Affected patients commonly develop juvenile polyps, and show an elevated risk of developing colorectal cancers. The etiology of these peculiar polyps remains unclear, although previous work has suggested somatic PTEN alterations in the stroma of juvenile polyps. After a long latency period, we find epithelial-specific PTEN deletion to cause formation of juvenile polyps in the colorectum without stromal PTEN loss. More important, we find that these lesions closely recapitulate all of the characteristic histopathological features of juvenile polyps seen in patients with CS, including stromal alterations and dysplastic transformation to colorectal carcinoma. The stromal alterations we identify after epithelial-specific PTEN loss suggest that PTEN may be involved in altered epithelial-mesenchymal cross talk, which, in turn, predisposes to colorectal neoplasia and polyposis. Our transgenic model is the first to recapitulate colorectal juvenile polyposis in patients with CS. We conclude that stromal PTEN loss is not a prerequisite for the formation of juvenile polyps, and that colorectal juvenile polyps in CS are bona fide neoplastic precursor lesions.

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