Gastrointestinal tract cancers: Genetics, heritability and germ line mutations

Oncology Letters
Xiao-Peng Lv


Gastrointestinal (GI) tract cancers that arise due to genetic mutations affect a large number of individuals worldwide. Even though many of the GI tract cancers arise sporadically, few of these GI tract cancers harboring a hereditary predisposition are now recognized and well characterized. These include Cowden syndrome, MUTYH-associated polyposis, hereditary pancreatic cancer, Lynch syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), attenuated FAP, serrated polyposis syndrome, and hereditary gastric cancer. Molecular characterization of the genes that are involved in these syndromes was useful in the development of genetic testing for diagnosis and also facilitated understanding of the genetic basis of GI cancers. Current knowledge on the genetics of GI cancers with emphasis on heritability and germ line mutations forms the basis of the present review.


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