Author(s): Fishbein L, Nathanson KL
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Abstract Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PCC/PGL) are tumors derived from the adrenal medulla or extra-adrenal ganglia, respectively. They are rare and often benign tumors that are associated with high morbidity and mortality due to mass effect and high circulating catecholamines. Although most PCCs and PGLs are thought to be sporadic, over one third are associated with 10 known susceptibility genes. Mutations in three genes causing well characterized tumor syndromes are associated with an increased risk of developing PCCs and PGLs, including VHL (von Hippel-Lindau disease), NF1 (Neurofibromatosis Type 1), and RET (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2). Mutations in any of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex subunit genes (SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD) can lead to PCCs and PGLs with variable penetrance, as can mutations in the subunit cofactor, SDHAF2. Recently, two additional genes have been identified, TMEM127 and MAX. Although these tumors are rare in the general population, occurring in two to eight per million people, they are more commonly associated with an inherited mutation than any other cancer type. This review summarizes the known germline and somatic mutations leading to the development of PCC and PGL, as well as biochemical profiling for PCCs/PGLs and screening of mutation carriers. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Cancer Genet
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports