Neoplasm risk among individuals with a pathogenic germline variant in DICER1

Douglas R. Stewart, Ana F. Best, Gretchen M. Williams, Laura A. Harney, Ann G. Carr, Anne K. Harris, Christian P. Kratz, Louis P. Dehner, Yoav H. Messinger, Philip S. Rosenberg, D. Ashley Hill, Kris Ann P. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


PURPOSE DICER1 syndrome is an autosomal-dominant, pleiotropic tumor-predisposition disorder caused by pathogenic germline variants in DICER1. We sought to quantify risk, hazard rates, and the probability of neoplasm incidence accounting for competing risks (“cumulative incidence”) of neoplasms (benign and malignant) and standardized incidence ratios for malignant tumors in individuals with DICER1 pathogenic variation. PATIENTS AND METHODS We combined data from three large cohorts of patients who carry germline pathogenic variation in DICER1. To reduce ascertainment bias, we distinguished probands from nonprobands. Neoplasm diagnoses were confirmed by review of pathology reports and/or central review of surgical pathology materials. Standardized cancer incidence ratios were determined relative to the SEER program, which does not capture all DICER1-associated neoplasms. For all malignancies and benign tumors (“neoplasms,” excluding type Ir pleuropulmonary blastoma and thyroid nodules), we used the Kaplan-Meier method and nonparametric cumulative incidence curves to estimate neoplasm-free survival. RESULTS We calculated the age at first neoplasm diagnosis (systematically ascertained cancers plus DICER1-associated neoplasms pleuropulmonary blastoma, cystic nephroma, and nasal chondromesenchymal hamartoma) in 102 female and male nonproband DICER1 carriers. By age 10 years, 5.3% (95% CI, 0.6% to 9.7%) of nonproband DICER1 carriers had developed a neoplasm (females, 4.0%; males, 6.6%). By age 50 years, 19.3% (95% CI, 8.4% to 29.0%) of nonprobands had developed a neoplasm (females, 26.5%; males, 10.2%). After age 10 years, female risk was elevated compared with male risk. Standardized cancer incidence ratio analysis of 102 nonproband DICER1 carriers, which represented 3,344 person-years of observation, showed significant cancer excesses overall, particularly of gynecologic and thyroid cancers. CONCLUSION This work provides the first quantitative analysis of site-specific neoplasm risk and excess malignancy risk in 102 systematically characterized nonproband DICER1 carriers. Our findings inform DICER1 syndrome phenotype, natural history, and genetic counseling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-676
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 10 2019


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