Most Genetic Epidemiology Branch investigations evaluate the contributions of host susceptibility and environmental exposure in the development of cancer. In family studies, the host susceptibility measure is frequently an alteration in specific gene(s). These studies tend to be very long term with varying activity. Although two genes associated with melanoma susceptibility have been identified (CDKN2A and CDK4), alterations in these genes are found in only a small percentage of melanoma-prone families. The search for other genes continues;in collaboration with an international consortium (GenoMEL), a search for new melanoma susceptibility genes continues both within families and genome-wide association studies. In the American and Italian melanoma-prone families, we are using novel technologies including array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and next generation sequencing (exomic and whole genome) to search for new high-risk melanoma susceptibility genes. We continue to accrue and evaluate new families in both the U.S., Italy, and Spain. We have continued to evaluate families of individuals with heritable retinoblastoma and melanoma. The study of familial chordoma, a rare, low-grade, malignant bone tumor derived from remnants of the notochord, was expanded to include additional families. Although we have reported duplications of the T gene (brachyury) as a major genetic risk factor for familial chordoma, several families do not have abnormalities in the T gene. We are conducting next generation exomic sequencing in the families without identified high risk susceptibility genes. Studying families with lymphoproliferative cancers has been a long-standing interest. We have collaborated with the Genetic Epidemiology of CLL Consortium to conduct larger studies of familial CLL. We are using exomic and whole genome sequencing to search for high risk susceptibility genes in CLL , HD, WM, and NHL families. We also continued a family study of Xeroderma pigmentosum in collaboration with CCR investigators to assess risk of cancer in XP heterozygotes. Data collection continues.
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