Gastric cancer is a global public health concern, ranking as the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality, with a 5-year survival of only 20%. Approximately 10% of gastric cancers appear to have a familial predisposition, and about half of these can be attributed to hereditary germline mutations. We review the genetic syndromes and current standards for genetic counseling, testing, and medical management for screening and treatment of gastric cancer. Recently, germline mutations in the E-cadherin/CDH1 gene have been identified in families with an autosomal dominant inherited predisposition to gastric cancer of the diffuse type. The cumulative lifetime risk of developing gastric cancer in CDH1 mutation carriers is up to 80%, and women from these families also have an increased risk for developing lobular breast cancer. Prophylactic gastrectomies are recommended in unaffected CDH1 mutation carriers, because screening endoscopic examinations and blind biopsies have proven inadequate for surveillance. In addition to this syndrome, gastric cancer risk is elevated in Lynch syndrome associated with germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair genes and microsatellite instability, in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome due to germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, in familial adenomatous polyposis caused by germline APC mutations, in Li-Fraumeni syndrome due to germline p53 mutations, in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome associated with germline STK11 mutations, and in juvenile polyposis syndrome associated with germline mutations in the SMAD4 and BMPR1A genes. Guidelines for genetic testing, counseling, and management of individuals with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer are suggested. A raised awareness among the physician and genetic counseling communities regarding these syndromes may allow for increased detection and prevention of gastric cancers in these high-risk individuals.
View details for DOI 10.1097/PPO.0b013e31826246dc
View details for Web of Science ID 000307009300012
View details for PubMedID 22846738