Introduction: In 9-17% of Wilms tumour patients a predisposing syndrome is present, in particular WT1-associated syndromes and overgrowth syndromes. Constitutional WT1 mutations or epigenetic changes on chromosome 11p15 have also been described in Wilms tumour patients without phenotypic abnormalities. Thus, the absence of phenotypic abnormalities does not exclude the presence of a genetic predisposition, suggesting that more Wilms tumour patients may have a constitutional abnormality. Therefore, we investigated the frequency of constitutional aberrations in combination with phenotype. Patients & methods: Clinical genetic assessment, as well as molecular analysis of WT1 and locus 11p15 was offered to a single-centre cohort of 109 childhood Wilms tumour patients. Results: Twelve patients (11%) had a WT1 aberration and eight patients (8%) had an 11p15 aberration. Of the 12 patients with a WT1 aberration, four had WAGR syndrome (Wilms tumor, aniridia, genitourinary malformations and mental retardation), one had Denys-Drash syndrome, four had genitourinary anomalies without other syndromic features and three had bilateral disease with stromal-predominant histology at young age without congenital anomalies. Of the eight patients with an 11p15 aberration, four had Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), two had minor features of BWS and two had no stigmata of BWS or hemihypertrophy. Conclusion: Constitutional WT1 or 11p15 aberrations are frequent in Wilms tumour patients and careful clinical assessment can identify the majority of these patients. Therefore, we would recommend offering clinical genetic counselling to all Wilms tumour patients, as well as molecular analysis to patients with clinical signs of a syndrome or with features that may indicate a constitutional WT1 or 11p15 aberration.

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European Journal of Cancer
Department of Clinical Genetics

Segers, H., Kersseboom, R., Alders, M., Pieters, R., Wagner, A., & van den Heuvel-Eibrink, M. (2012). Frequency of WT1 and 11p15 constitutional aberrations and phenotypic correlation in childhood Wilms tumour patients. European Journal of Cancer, 48(17), 3249–3256. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2012.06.008