Background: Breast cancer (BC) is a highly complex, heterogeneous and multifactorial disease and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer–related mortality in women worldwide. Family history and genetic mutations are important risk factors for BC. While studies in twins have estimated that about 10%–30% of BC are due to hereditary factors, only 4%–5% of them are due to mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Our aim was to investigate the role of other BC genes in familial BC among the Iranian population.
Methods: We selected 61 BC patients who were wild-type for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations but who met the criteria for hereditary BC based on the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines. We performed targeted sequencing covering the exons of 130 known cancer susceptibility genes based on the Cancer Gene Census list.
Results: We found seven mutations in seven known BC susceptibility genes (RAD50, PTEN, TP53, POLH, DKC1, WRN and CHEK2) in seven patients including two pathogenic frameshift variants in RAD50 and WRN genes, four pathogenic missense variants in TP53, PTEN, POLH, and DKC1 genes and a pathogenic splice donor variant in the CHEK2 gene. The presence of all these variants was confirmed by Sanger sequencing and Gap reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) for the splice variant. In silico analysis of all of these variants predicted them to be pathogenic.
Conclusion: Panel testing of BC patients who met the established criteria for hereditary BC but who were negative for BRCA1/2 mutations provided additional relevant clinical information for approximately 11.5% of the families. Our findings indicate that next generation sequencing (NGS) is a powerful tool to investigative putative mutagenic variants among patients who meet the criteria for hereditary BC, but with negative results on BRCA1/2 testing.