Abstract Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder caused by germline mutations in TSC1 or TSC2 genes, which leads to the hyperactivation of the mTORC1 pathway, an important negative regulator of autophagy. This leads to the development of hamartomas in multiple organs. The variability in symptoms presents a challenge for the development of completely effective treatments for TSC. One option is the treatment with mTORC1 inhibitors, which are targeted to block cell growth and restore autophagy. However, the therapeutic effect of rapamycin seems to be more efficient in the early stages of hamartoma development, an effect that seems to be associated with the paradoxical role of autophagy in tumor establishment. Under normal conditions, autophagy is directly inhibited by mTORC1. In situations of bioenergetics stress, mTORC1 releases the Ulk1 complex and initiates the autophagy process. In this way, autophagy promotes the survival of established tumors by supplying metabolic precursors during nutrient deprivation; paradoxically, excessive autophagy has been associated with cell death in some situations. In spite of its paradoxical role, autophagy is an alternative therapeutic strategy that could be explored in TSC. This review compiles the findings related to autophagy and the new therapeutic strategies targeting this pathway in TSC.
Abstract In Brazil, the population in general has little knowledge about genetic risks, as well as regarding the role and importance of the Cancer Genetic Counseling (CGC). The goal of this study was to evaluate cancer-related worry and cancer risk perception during CGC sessions in Brazilian women at-risk for hereditary breast cancer. This study was performed in 264 individuals seeking CGC for hereditary breast cancer. Both cancer-affected and unaffected individuals were included. As results, individuals with and without cancer reported different motivations for seeking CGC and undergoing genetic testing. A correlation was observed between age at the first CGC session and age at which the closest relative was diagnosed with cancer. Multivariate analysis showed that educational level, cancer risk discussion within the family, and number of deaths by cancer among first-degree relatives influenced positively the cancer risk perception. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that cancer-related worry and cancer risk perception are significant aspects of morbidity in individuals seeking CGC, whether they are cancer-affected or unaffected. CGC has an important role in health education and cancer prevention for its potential of promoting an accurate perception of the risk.
Abstract Specific pathogenic mutations associated with breast cancer development can vary between ethnical groups. One example is BRCA1 c.5266dupC that was first described as a founder mutation in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, but was later also found in other populations. In Brazil, this mutation corresponds to 20% of pathogenic BRCA1 variants reported. Our objective was to investigate the haplotype component of a group of Brazilian families who inherited c.5266dupC in the BRCA1 gene and to verify the ancestry contribution from European, African, and Amerindian origins. Fourteen probands carrying c.5266dupC and 16 relatives (carriers and non-carriers) were investigated. The same haplotype was observed segregating within all the families analyzed, revealing no recombinants in a region of 0.68 Mb. Ancestry analysis demonstrated that the European component was predominant among probands. The BRCA1 c.5266dupC analysis indicates that there was a founder effect in the Brazilian population.
Abstract Brazil is a country of continental dimensions and most genetic services are concentrated in the Southeast and South, including the Medical Genetics Service of the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre (MGS/HCPA). As many areas on the country do not have adequate medical genetics support, networks were designed to extend the service of the MGS/HCPA reference center. This paper presents the information and diagnosis networks that have their headquarters at MGS/HCPA: SIAT (National Information System on Teratogenic Agents), SIEM (Information Service on Inborn Errors of Metabolism), Alô Genética (Hello Genetics - Medical Genetics Information Service for Primary Health Care Professionals); Rede MPS Brasil (MPS-Mucopolysaccharidosis Brazil Network); Rede EIM Brasil (IEM-Inborn Errors of Metabolism Brazil Network), Rede NPC Brasil (Niemann-Pick C - NPC Brazil Network), Rede DLD Brasil (LSD-Lysosomal Storage Disorders Brazil Network), Rede DXB (MSUD-Maple Syrup Urine Disease Network), RedeBRIM (Brazilian Network of Reference and Information in Microdeletion Syndromes Project), Rede Neurogenética (Neurogenetics Network), and Rede Brasileira de Câncer Hereditário (Brazilian Hereditary Cancer Network). These tools are very useful to provide access to a qualified information and/or diagnostic service for specialized and non-specialized health services, bypassing difficulties that preclude patients to access reference centers.
Abstract Breast cancer (BC) risk assessment models base their estimations on different aspects of a woman’s personal and familial history. The Gail and Tyrer–Cuzick models are the most commonly used, and BC risks assigned by them vary considerably especially concerning familial history. In this study, our aim was to compare the Gail and Tyrer-Cuzick models after initial screening for familial history of cancer in primary care using the FHS-7 questionnaire. We compared 846 unrelated women with at least one positive answer to any of the seven FHS-7 questions (positive group) and 892 unrelated women that answered negatively (negative group). Concordance between BC risk estimates was compared by Bland-Altman graphics. Mean BC risk estimates were higher using the Tyrer-Cuzick Model in women from the positive group, while women from the negative group had higher BC risk estimates using the Gail model. With increasing estimates, discordance also increased, mainly in the FHS-7 positive group. Our results show that in women with a familial history of cancer, the Gail model underestimates risk and the Tyrer-Cuzick seems to be more appropriate. FHS-7 can be a useful tool for the identification of women with higher breast cancer risks in the primary care setting.
Abstract Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA) genes confer high risk of developing cancer, especially breast and ovarian tumors. Since the cloning of these tumor suppressor genes over two decades ago, a significant amount of research has been done. Most recently, monoallelic loss-of-function mutations in PALB2 have also been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. The identification of BRCA1, BRCA2 and PALB2 as proteins involved in DNA double-strand break repair by homologous recombination and of the impact of complete loss of BRCA1 or BRCA2 within tumors have allowed the development of novel therapeutic approaches for patients with germline or somatic mutations in said genes. Despite the advances, especially in the clinical use of PARP inhibitors, key gaps remain. Now, new roles for BRCA1 and BRCA2 are emerging and old concepts, such as the classical two-hit hypothesis for tumor suppression, have been questioned, at least for some BRCA functions. Here aspects regarding cancer predisposition, cellular functions, histological and genomic findings in BRCA and PALB2-related tumors will be presented, in addition to an up-to-date review of the evolution and challenges in the development and clinical use of PARP inhibitors.
Abstract Tuberous sclerosis complex is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by skin manifestations and formation of multiple tumors in different organs, mainly in the central nervous system. Tuberous sclerosis is caused by the mutation of one of two tumor suppressor genes, TSC1 or TSC2. Currently, the development of novel techniques and great advances in high-throughput genetic analysis made mutation screening of the TSC1 and TSC2 genes more widely available. Extensive studies of the TSC1 and TSC2 genes in patients with TSC worldwide have revealed a wide spectrum of mutations. Consequently, the discovery of the underlying genetic defects in TSC has furthered our understanding of this complex genetic disorder, and genotype-phenotype correlations are becoming possible, although there are still only a few clearly established correlations. This review focuses on the main symptoms and genetic alterations described in TSC patients from 13 countries in three continents, as well as on genotype-phenotype correlations established to date. The determination of genotype-phenotype correlations may contribute to the establishment of successful personalized treatment for TSC.
Abstract Germline mutations in the TP53 gene are associated with Li-Fraumeni and Li-Fraumeni-Like Syndromes, characterized by increased predisposition to early-onset cancers. In Brazil, the prevalence of the TP53-p.R337H germline mutation is exceedingly high in the general population and in cancer-affected patients, probably as result of a founder effect. Several genotyping methods are used for the molecular diagnosis of LFS/LFL, however Sanger sequencing is still considered the gold standard. We compared performance, cost and turnaround time of Sanger sequencing, PCR-RFLP, TaqMan-PCR and HRM in the p.R337H genotyping. The performance was determined by analysis of 95 genomic DNA samples and results were 100% concordant for all methods. Sequencing was the most expensive method followed by TaqMan-PCR, PCR-RFLP and HRM. The overall cost of HRM increased with the prevalence of positive samples, since confirmatory sequencing must be performed when a sample shows an abnormal melting profile, but remained lower than all other methods when the mutation prevalence was less than 2.5%. Sequencing had the highest throughput and the longest turnaround time, while TaqMan-PCR showed the lowest turnaround and hands-on times. All methodologies studied are suitable for the detection of p.R337H and the choice will depend on the application and clinical scenario.
Abstract Approximately 5-10% of breast cancers are caused by germline mutations in high penetrance predisposition genes. Among these, BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are associated with the Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) syndrome, are the most frequently affected genes. Recent studies confirm that gene rearrangements, especially in BRCA1, are responsible for a significant proportion of mutations in certain populations. In this study we determined the prevalence of BRCA rearrangements in 145 unrelated Brazilian individuals at risk for HBOC syndrome who had not been previously tested for BRCA mutations. Using Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) and a specific PCR-based protocol to identify a Portuguese founder BRCA2 mutation, we identified two (1,4%) individuals with germline BRCA1 rearrangements (c.547+240_5193+178del and c.4675+467_5075-990del) and three probands with the c.156_157insAlu founder BRCA2 rearrangement. Furthermore, two families with false positive MLPA results were shown to carry a deleterious point mutation at the probe binding site. This study comprises the largest Brazilian series of HBOC families tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2 rearrangements to date and includes patients from three regions of the country. The overall observed rearrangement frequency of 3.44% indicates that rearrangements are relatively uncommon in the admixed population of Brazil.
Abstract In Brazil, breast cancer is a public health care problem due to its high incidence and mortality rates. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of hereditary breast cancer syndromes (HBCS) in a population-based cohort in Brazils southernmost capital, Porto Alegre. All participants answered a questionnaire about family history (FH) of breast, ovarian and colorectal cancer and those with a positive FH were invited for genetic cancer risk assessment (GCRA). If pedigree analysis was suggestive of HBCS, genetic testing of the BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, and CHEK2 genes was offered. Of 902 women submitted to GCRA, 214 had pedigrees suggestive of HBCS. Fifty of them underwent genetic testing: 18 and 40 for BRCA1/BRCA2 and TP53 mutation screening, respectively, and 7 for CHEK2 1100delC testing. A deleterious BRCA2 mutation was identified in one of the HBOC probands and the CHEK2 1100delC mutation occurred in one of the HBCC families. No deleterious germline alterations were identified in BRCA1 or TP53. Although strict inclusion criteria and a comprehensive testing approach were used, the suspected genetic risk in these families remains unexplained. Further studies in a larger cohort are necessary to better understand the genetic component of hereditary breast cancer in Southern Brazil.
This study identifies and describes the operating costs associated with the molecular diagnosis of diseases, such as hereditary cancer. To approximate the costs associated with these tests, data informed by Standard Operating Procedures for various techniques was collected from hospital software and a survey of market prices. Costs were established for four scenarios of capacity utilization to represent the possibility of suboptimal use in research laboratories. Cost description was based on a single site. The results show that only one technique was not impacted by rising costs due to underutilized capacity. Several common techniques were considerably more expensive at 30% capacity, including polymerase chain reaction (180%), microsatellite instability analysis (181%), gene rearrangement analysis by multiplex ligation probe amplification (412%), non-labeled sequencing (173%), and quantitation of nucleic acids (169%). These findings should be relevant for the definition of public policies and suggest that investment of public funds in the establishment of centralized diagnostic research centers would reduce costs to the Public Health System.
Summary Introduction: cancer is the second leading cause of death in children between the ages of 0 and 14 years, corresponding to approximately 3% of all cases diagnosed in Brazil. A significant percentage (5-10%) of pediatric cancers are associated with hereditary cancer syndromes, including Li-Fraumeni/Li-Fraumeni-like syndromes (LFS/LFL), both of which are caused by TP53 germline mutations. Recent studies have shown that a specific TP53 mutation, known as p.R337H, is present in 1 in 300 newborns in Southern and Southeast Brazil. In addition, a significant percentage of children with LFS/LFL spectrum tumors in the region have a family history compatible with LFS/LFL. Objective: to review clinical relevant aspects of LFS/LFL by our multidisciplinary team with focus on pediatric cancer. Methods: the NCBI (PubMed) and SciELO databases were consulted using the keywords Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Li-Fraumeni-like syndrome and pediatric cancer; and all manuscripts published between 1990 and 2014 using these keywords were retrieved and reviewed. Conclusion: although LFS/LFL is considered a rare disease, it appears to be substantially more common in certain geographic regions. Recognition of population- specific risks for the syndrome is important for adequate management of hereditary cancer patients and families. In Southern and Southeastern Brazil, LFS/ LFL should be considered in the differential diagnosis of children with cancer, especially if within the spectrum of the syndrome. Due to the complexities of these syndromes, a multidisciplinary approach should be sought for the counseling, diagnosis and management of patients and families affected by these disorders. Pediatricians and pediatric oncologists in areas with high prevalence of hereditary cancer syndromes have a central role in the recognition and proper referral of patients and families to genetic cancer risk evaluation and management programs.
Resumo Introdução: o câncer é a segunda principal causa de morte em crianças com idades entre 0 e 14 anos, correspondendo a cerca de 3% de todos os casos diagnosticados no Brasil. Um percentual significativo (5-10%) dos cânceres pediátricos são associados a síndromes hereditárias para câncer, incluindo Li-Fraumeni/Li-Fraumeni-like síndromes (LFS/LFL), causadas por mutações germinativas no gene TP53. Estudos recentes têm demonstrado que uma mutação específica em TP53, conhecida como p.R337H, está presente em 1 em 300 recém-nascidos no Sul e Sudeste do Brasil. Além disso, um percentual significativo de crianças com tumores do espectro LFS/LFL na região têm uma história familiar compatível com a síndrome. Objetivos: revisão dos aspectos clínicos relevantes da LFS/LFL por equipe multidisciplinar, com foco no câncer pediátrico. Métodos: o NCBI (PubMed) e SciELO foram consultados, usando as palavras-chave síndrome de Li-Fraumeni, síndrome de Li-Fraumeni-like e câncer pediátrico. Todos os artigos publicados entre 1990 e 2014 usando essas palavras- chave foram recuperados e revisados. Conclusão: apesar de LFS/LFL ser considerada uma doença rara, ela parece ser mais frequente em certas regiões. Reconhecer os critérios e condutas para identificação de pacientes em risco para LFS/LFL é fundamental para o manejo adequado dos pacientes com câncer hereditários e suas famílias. Devido à complexidade dessas síndromes, a abordagem multidisciplinar deve ser realizada. Pediatras e oncologistas pediátricos em áreas com alta prevalência de síndromes hereditárias de câncer têm um papel central no reconhecimento e encaminhamento adequado dos pacientes e famílias para programas de avaliação do risco de câncer genético e de gestão.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the knowledge of nurses involved in the care of oncology patients in a public university hospital, regarding breast cancer and hereditary breast cancer, and to verify the use of such knowledge in their daily practice.METHODS: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. Data were obtained through a structured, self-administered questionnaire. Out of 154 nurses, 137 (88.9%) agreed to participate in the study. Two questionnaires were excluded such that 135 questionnaires were analyzed.RESULTS: The global percentage of correct answers was not associated with age (p=0.173) or degree/specialization (p=0.815). Questions were classified into categories. In categories involving knowledge of established breast cancer risk factors and indicators of hereditary breast cancer, the rate of correct answers was 65.8% and 66.4%, respectively. On the practice of genetic counseling, 40.7% of those interviewed were not sure about the definition of genetic counseling and 78.5% reported never having identified or referred a patient at genetic risk for specialized risk assessment. Practice of educational actions regarding this subject was reported by 48.5% of those interviewed.CONCLUSION: This study reinforces the need to develop qualifying actions for nurses, so that strategies to control breast cancer become effective in their health care practice.
OBJETIVO: avaliar os conhecimentos de enfermeiros envolvidos nos cuidados de pacientes oncológicos em um hospital público universitário, em relação ao câncer de mama e ao câncer de mama hereditário e verificar o uso de tais conhecimentos em sua prática diária.MÉTODOS: este é um estudo transversal. Os dados foram obtidos por meio de um questionário estruturado autoaplicado. De um total de 154 enfermeiros convidados a participar do estudo, 137 (88,9%) concordaram. Dois questionários foram excluídos, totalizando 135 analisados.RESULTADOS: a porcentagem global de respostas corretas não estava associada à idade (p = 0,173) ou à formação/especialização (p = 0,815). As perguntas foram classificadas em categorias. Nas categorias que abrangiam conhecimentos relacionados aos fatores de risco estabelecidos para o câncer de mama e aos indicadores do câncer de mama hereditário, a taxa de respostas corretas foi de 65,8% e 66,4%, respectivamente. Em relação à prática de aconselhamento genético, 40,7% dos entrevistados não tinham certeza sobre a definição de aconselhamento genético, e 78,5% relataram nunca ter identificado ou encaminhado um paciente com risco genético para uma avaliação de riscos especializada. A prática de ações educativas em relação a esse tema foi relatada por 48,5% dos entrevistados.CONCLUSÃO: este estudo reforça a necessidade de desenvolver ações qualificadoras para enfermeiros de modo que as estratégias para o controle do câncer tornem-se eficientes em suas prática de cuidados de saúde.
OBJETIVO: evaluar los conocimientos del personal de enfermería involucrado en el cuidado de los pacientes de oncología de un hospital universitario público, en relación con el cáncer de mama y el cáncer de mama hereditario, y verificar el uso de esos conocimientos en su práctica diaria.MÉTODOS: estudio descriptivo de corte transversal; los datos se obtuvieron mediante un cuestionario estructurado autoadministrado. De un total de 154 enfermeros/as, 137 (88,9%) aceptaron participar en el estudio. Se excluyeron dos cuestionarios, totalizando 135 cuestionarios analizados.RESULTADOS: el porcentaje global de respuestas correctas no se asoció con la edad (p=0,173) o título/especialización (p=0,815). Las preguntas fueron clasificadas en categorías. En las categorías que implican el conocimiento de los factores de riesgo establecidos del cáncer de mama y los indicadores del cáncer de mama hereditario, la tasa de respuestas correctas fue de 65,8% y 66,4%, respectivamente. En relación con la práctica del consejo genético, el 40,7% de los entrevistados/as no estaban seguros/as acerca de la definición de consejo genético y el 78,5% informó que nunca habían identificado o derivado a un paciente en situación de riesgo genético para una evaluación de riesgos especializada. La práctica de acciones educativas con respecto a este tema se reportó en el 48,5% de los entrevistados/as.CONCLUSIÓN: este estudio refuerza la necesidad de desarrollar acciones de calificación para el personal de enfermería, para que las estrategias de control del cáncer de mama sean efectivas en su práctica asistencial.