The clinical genetics of phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma

<div><p>ABSTRACT Phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma are rare catecholamine-producing tumours, recognised to have one of the richest hereditary backgrounds of all neoplasms, with germline mutations seen in approximately 30% of patients. They can be a part of genetic syndromes such as MEN 2 or Neurofibromatosis type 1, or can be found as apparently sporadic tumours. Germline mutations are almost always found in syndromic patients. Nonetheless, apparently sporadic phaeochromocytoma too show high germline mutation rates. Early detection of a genetic mutation can lead to early diagnosis of further tumours via surveillance, early treatment and better prognosis. Apart from this, the genetic profile has important relevance for tumour location and biochemical profile, and can be a useful predictor of future tumour behaviour. It also enables family screening and surveillance. Moreover, recent studies have demonstrated significant driver somatic mutations in up to 75% of all tumours. Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2017;61(5):490-500</p></div>