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Cowden syndrome



Cowden syndrome
Classification & external resources
ICD-9 759.6
OMIM 158350
DiseasesDB 31336
eMedicine derm/86 
MeSH D006223

Cowden syndrome is an inherited disorder characterized by multiple tumor-like growths called hamartomas and an increased risk of certain forms of cancer. Almost everyone with this condition has hamartomas. These small, noncancerous growths are most commonly found on the skin and mucous membranes (such as the lining of the mouth and nose), but can also occur in the intestinal tract and other parts of the body. People with Cowden syndrome have an increased risk of developing several types of cancer, including cancers of the breast, thyroid, and uterus. Indeed, women with Cowden syndrome have as much as a 25-50% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. (Robbins & Cotran (2004). Pathological Basis of Disease, 7th Edition. Elsevier, 1134. ) Noncancerous breast and thyroid diseases are also common. Other signs and symptoms of Cowden syndrome can include an enlarged head, a rare noncancerous brain tumor called Lhermitte-Duclos disease and mental retardation.

Additional recommended knowledge

Epidemiology

Because Cowden syndrome can be difficult to diagnose, the exact prevalence is unknown; however, it probably occurs in at least 1 in 200,000 people.

Genetics

Mutations in the PTEN gene cause Cowden syndrome. PTEN is a tumor suppressor gene, which means it helps control the growth and division of cells. Inherited mutations in the PTEN gene have been found in about 80 percent of people with Cowden syndrome. These mutations prevent the PTEN protein from effectively regulating cell survival and division, which can lead to the formation of tumors. Cowden syndrome is one of several inherited diseases caused by mutations in the PTEN gene.

In the other 20 percent of Cowden syndrome cases, the cause is not yet known. Some of these cases may be caused by mutations in a region of DNA that regulates the activity of the PTEN gene.

This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. In some cases, an affected person inherits the mutation from one affected parent. Other cases may result from new mutations in the gene. These cases occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family. It is characterized by numerous hamartomas, among other symptoms.

References

  • de Jong MM, Nolte IM, te Meerman GJ, van der Graaf WT, Oosterwijk JC, Kleibeuker JH, Schaapveld M, de Vries EG (2002). "Genes other than BRCA1 and BRCA2 involved in breast cancer susceptibility". J Med Genet 39 (4): 225-42. PMID 11950848.
  • Eng C (2000). "Will the real Cowden syndrome please stand up: revised diagnostic criteria". J Med Genet 37 (11): 828-30. PMID 11073535.
  • Kelly P (2003). "Hereditary breast cancer considering Cowden syndrome: a case study". Cancer Nurs 26 (5): 370-5. PMID 14710798.
  • Pilarski R, Eng C (2004). "Will the real Cowden syndrome please stand up (again)? Expanding mutational and clinical spectra of the PTEN hamartoma tumour syndrome". J Med Genet 41 (5): 323-6. PMID 15121767.
  • Waite KA, Eng C (2002). "Protean PTEN: form and function". Am J Hum Genet 70 (4): 829-44. PMID 11875759.
  • Zhou XP, Waite KA, Pilarski R, Hampel H, Fernandez MJ, Bos C, Dasouki M, Feldman GL, Greenberg LA, Ivanovich J, Matloff E, Patterson A, Pierpont ME, Russo D, Nassif NT, Eng C (2003). "Germline PTEN promoter mutations and deletions in Cowden/Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome result in aberrant PTEN protein and dysregulation of the phosphoinositol-3-kinase/Akt pathway". Am J Hum Genet 73 (2): 404-11. PMID 12844284.
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cowden_syndrome". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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