Prevalence of pathogenic germline variants with early-onset colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer

Release:Apr 9, 2020
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We investigated the prevalence and spectrum of pathogenic germline variants in patients with early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC), breast cancer (BC), and prostate cancer (PCA) in the Japanese population. We also identified pathogenic variants in other cancer risk genes, giving consideration to future multigene testing panels for this population.


We performed whole-genome sequencing for 1,037 Japanese individuals, including patients with early-onset CRC (n = 196), BC (n = 237), and PCA (n = 215) and controls (n = 389). We screened for pathogenic variants, including single nucleotide variants and copy number variants, among well-established first-tier cancer genes for each cancer type and examined an expended second-tier panel including cancer-predisposing genes from the Cancer Gene Census.


Proportions of patients with germline pathogenic variants differed by cancer subgroup, with the highest in BC (14.8%), followed by CRC (9.2%), and PCA (3.7%). In contrast, 2 of 389 control subjects (0.5%) carried a germline pathogenic variant. In comparison with controls, the proportion of patients with pathogenic variants in the second-tier panel was increased significantly for PCA (3.7% to 11.6%, = 2.96 × 10?4), but not for CRC or BC, after multitesting adjustment. In patients with PCA, DNA repair pathway genes in the extended panel often contained pathogenic variants (P = .011).


Our analyses support the clinical usefulness of established cancer gene panels in the Japanese population for 3 major cancer types. Additional genes, especially those involved in DNA repair, might be considered for developing multipanel testing in Japanese patients with early-onset PCA.


c 2020 by American Society of Clinical Oncology



Title: Prevalence and spectrum of pathogenic germline variants in Japanese patients with early-onset colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer
Publication: JCO Precision Oncology
Author: Xiaoxi Liu, Sadaaki Takata, Kyota Ashikawa, Tomomi Aoi, Shunichi Kosugi, Chikashi Terao, Nicholas F. Parrish, Koichi Matsuda,

            Hidewaki Nakagawa, Yoichiro Kamatani, Michiaki Kubo, Yukihide Momozawa
DOI: 10.1200/PO.19.00224
Date: 24 March 2020