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January 19, 1979

Genealogy of Cancer in a Family

Author Affiliations

From the Environmental (Drs Blattner and Fraumeni and Ms McGuire) and Clinical (Dr Mulvihill) Epidemiology Branches, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md; Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati (Dr Lampkin); and University of Miami, Miami (Dr Hananian).

JAMA. 1979;241(3):259-261. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290290027019

Three brothers had separate childhood cancers—osteogenic sarcoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and bilateral malignant neurilemoma. Comprehensive family history showed a total of 16 cases of cancer among the descendants of the proband's great-great-great-grandmother, including a previously unsuspected cluster of similar neoplasms in a distant branch. The constellation of tumors in the family included bony and soft-tissue sarcomas, brain and neural tumors, leukemia, and breast carcinoma, occurring in a pattern suggesting the action of an incompletely penetrant autosomal dominant gene with pleiotropic effects. In some cases the genetic predisposition may have interacted with environmental determinants to produce particular tumors.

(JAMA 241:259-261, 1979)