[Familial cancer: recent advances].Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 1999 May; 26(6):735-43.GT
Familial cancers associated with genetic background are of the most intensively investigated diseases in recent years. The phenotype is apparent with most of these diseases and can easily be traced through family history. Induction in familial cancer appears, on current evidence, to be not different from that observed in sporadic cancer. The first suppressor gene Rb gene was cloned from retinoblastoma. There are two representative hereditary colorectal cancers: familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). The gene responsible for FAP (APC gene) was cloned in 1991. The APC gene is a negative regulator of beta-catenin and is considered to play the role of gatekeeper in the adenoma carcinoma sequence. Thereafter a group of genes, human homologues of mismatch repair genes (hMSH2, hMLH1, hPMS1, hPMS2, hMSH6), have been identified as the genes responsible for HNPCC. These are called care taker genes, which serve to maintain genetic stability. Therefore, if one of those genes undergoes mutation, the rate of mutation increases significantly. It has only been in the last 20 years that familial cancer has become an important issue. In association with such advances, predictive testing can now be performed on at risk persons. Persons at risk can thus be accurately counseled and screened for early detection of disease.