Pathogenic Germline Mutations in DNA Repair Genes in Combination With Cancer Treatment Exposures and Risk of Subsequent Neoplasms Among Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer.
To investigate cancer treatment plus pathogenic germline mutations (PGMs) in DNA repair genes (DRGs) for identification of childhood cancer survivors at increased risk of subsequent neoplasms (SNs).Whole-genome sequencing was performed on blood-derived DNA from survivors in the St Jude Lifetime Cohort. PGMs were evaluated in 127 genes from 6 major DNA repair pathways. Cumulative doses of chemotherapy and body region-specific radiotherapy (RT) were abstracted from medical records. Relative rates (RRs) and 95% CIs of SNs by mutation status were estimated using multivariable piecewise exponential models.Of 4,402 survivors, 495 (11.2%) developed 1,269 SNs. We identified 538 PGMs in 98 DRGs (POLG, MUTYH, ERCC2, and BRCA2, among others) in 508 (11.5%) survivors. Mutations in homologous recombination (HR) genes were significantly associated with an increased rate of subsequent female breast cancer (RR, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.8 to 7.7), especially among survivors with chest RT ≥ 20 Gy (RR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.6 to 12.4), or with a cumulative dose of anthracyclines in the second or third tertile (RR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.7 to 11.4). Mutations in HR genes were also associated with an increased rate of subsequent sarcoma among those who received alkylating agent doses in the third tertile (RR, 14.9; 95% CI, 4.0 to 38.0). Mutations in nucleotide excision repair genes were associated with subsequent thyroid cancer for those treated with neck RT ≥ 30 Gy (RR, 12.9; 95% CI, 1.6 to 46.6) with marginal statistical significance.Our study provides novel insights regarding the contribution of genetics, in combination with known treatment-related risks, for the development of SNs. These findings have the potential to facilitate identification of high-risk survivors who may benefit from genetic counseling and/or testing of DRGs, which may further inform personalized cancer surveillance and prevention strategies.