Constitutional trisomy 8 as first mutation in multistep carcinogenesis: clinical, cytogenetic, and molecular data on three cases

Laura Seghezzi, Emanuela Maserati, Antonella Minelli, Claudia Dellavecchia, Paola Addis, Franco Locatelli, Adriano Angioni, Pietro Balloni, Crescenzo Miano, Pietro Cavalli, Cesare Danesino, Francesco Pasquali

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Three patients, with constitutional trisomy 8 mosaicism (CT8M), who developed a malignancy are reported. The diagnoses were refractory anaemia, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and idiopathic myelofibrosis. In the child with acute leukaemia, the CT8M was diagnosed at birth due to severe dysmorphisms and malformations; the other two patients showed a milder phenotype, and the CT8M was diagnosed only after the finding of trisomy 8 in neoplastic cells. The review of eight similar, previously reported cases and the clinical, cytogenetic, and molecular studies performed in our patients led us to make the following observations: (I) CT8M predisposes to neoplasms, preferentially to myelo- or lymphoproliferative diseases; (2) a gene dosage effect for glutathione reductase in red blood cells was seen in two of our patients; (3) the wide phenotypic variation of CT8M was confirmed: trisomy 8 in neoplastic cells of phenotypically near-normal cases may be misinterpreted as acquired; and (4) molecular studies suggested a postzygotic origin of the trisomy in our three cases, with the supernumerary chromosome being of paternal origin in one case and of maternal origin in the other two. We postulate that the trisomy 8 in neoplasms may often occur by mitotic nondisjunction in an early embryonic multipotent cell and that what is usually interpreted as an acquired trisomy 8 may in fact be CT8M. The constitutional trisomy 8 would act as a pathogenetically important first mutation in multistep carcinogenesis, Whenever trisomy 8 is found in malignancies, the patient should be reevaluated clinically to exclude CT8M, and CT8M patients should be monitored for the possible development of malignancies. (C) 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 8 / genetics


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