Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Cancer-Recognizing Patterns May Save Lives

Main Article Content

Catarina Tavares
Maria Sofia Quental
José Ricardo Brandão
Miguel Silva-Ramos

Keywords

fumarate hydratase, hereditary renal cell cancer, HLRCC, renal cell carcinoma

Abstract

In 2001, Finish investigators described a rare familiar syndrome characterized by an inherited susceptibility to cutaneous leiomyomas, uterine leiomyomas, and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) is now linked to a germline mutation in the fumarate hydratase (FH) gene that encodes a Krebs cycle enzyme, transforming fumarate to malate. The accumulation of fumarate, an oncometabolite, promotes tumorigenesis. We present a case of a 41-year-old female diagnosed with HLRCC after a radical nephrectomy due to renal cell cancer. Genetic analyses confirmed a novel FH mutation. Close follow-up allowed for a precocious diagnosis of a metachronous renal tumor and later a hepatic metastasis. Her family was also counseled and offered genetic testing. As observed in this case, the diagnosis of HLRCC is of paramount importance for patients and their families: there is a 15% cumulative lifetime risk of developing RCC, which frequently occurs in young patients and metastasizes at an early stage. Implementing a regular follow-up with adequate imaging examinations may help save lives.

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