Current therapies for patients with advanced or metastatic pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PGL/PCC) are
not curative and there are no known molecular or genetic markers to predict penetrance of primary or metastatic
disease. Although most patients have sporadic tumors, up to 40% have a hereditary cause for their PGL/PCC,
with at least 12 different susceptibility genes identified. The Succinate Dehydrogenase Subunit (SDH) genes
form complex II of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and are involved with the Kreb’s cycle converting succinate
to fumarate. Germline pathogenic variants in any of the SDHx genes increases risk of developing Hereditary
PGL/PCC Syndrome. This syndrome is defined by the development of multifocal primary PGL/PCC, renal cell
carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The penetrance for the disease in carriers of SDHx pathogenic
germline variants varies per gene. Furthermore, there are no predictive markers for primary tumor development
or metastatic disease. This gap in understanding between genotype and phenotype makes clinical
recommendations for screening and surveillance difficult and creates an unmet need in the field. The goals of
this proposal are to identify genetic risk loci for developing PGL/PCC to better understand the etiology of the
cancer and to identify genetic modifiers for SDHx-associated PGL/PCC to be directly translatable to clinical care
for prediction of cancer risk and prognosis as well as identification of therapeutic targets for cancer prevention
and treatment. Leveraging the international American-Australian-Asian Adrenal Alliance (A5) consortium, we
have assembled the largest known sample set of 1740 germline DNAs and matched clinical data from patients
with sporadic and SDHx-associated PGL/PCC as well as patients with germline SDHx pathogenic variants
without PGL/PCC. In Aim 1, we will determine the inherited genetic risk loci for PGL/PCC to better understand
the genetic etiology of the cancer by performing a case control genome-wide SNP analysis. In Aim 2, we will
determine inherited genetic risk modifiers for SDHx pathogenic variant carriers to develop PGL/PCC by
performing a case-control study between SDHx carriers with and without disease. Aim 3 focuses on rare variants
within the SDH complex which may be modifiers for SDHB-associated PGL/PCC. SDHB carriers are at highest
risk for developing metastatic disease. Finally, using several methods including eQTL analysis and regulatory
element analysis, we will identify the most likely causal variants to test with in vitro functional assays. Successful
identification of genetic modifiers for sporadic or SDHx-associated PGL/PCC will have direct translation to clinical
care by identifying those at highest risk for a personalized screening approach and identifying targets for cancer
prevention and therapeutic intervention.
If you are accessing this page during weekend or evening hours, the database may currently be offline for maintenance and should operational within a few hours. Otherwise, we have been notified of this error and will be addressing it immediately.
Please contact us
if this error persists.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
- The DCCPS Team.