Malignant transition of uterine leiomyomata

Author(s): Rotmensch J, Bosnyak S, Montag A


Uterine leiomyomata (UL), also known as fibroids, are the most common pelvic tumors in women of reproductive age and are the primary indication for hysterectomy in the USA. Many lines of evidence indicate a strong genetic component to the development of these tumors. In fact, ∼40% of UL have non-random, tumor-specific chromosome abnormalities which have allowed classification into well-defined subgroups (deletion of portions of 7q, trisomy 12 or rearrangements of 12q15, 6p21 or 10q22) as well as identification of candidate genes for UL predisposition. Although benign, UL have been linked to malignancy through two genomic regions on chromosome 1. Mutation of fumarate hydratase ( FH ) at 1q43 is known to cause the Mendelian syndromes of multiple cutaneous and uterine leiomyomata (MCL) and hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC), and recently, FH mutations have been detected in some non-syndromic UL. In addition, transcriptional profiling suggests that loss of the short arm of chromosome 1 in cellular leiomyomata, an uncommon histological variant of UL, may account in part for the presumed yet rare malignant transformation of UL to uterine leiomyosarcoma.

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