Relatives of boys with sexual birth defects not at risk for testicular germ cell cancer

December 21, 2009, Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Boys with the sexual birth defects known as hypospadias and cryptorchidism are at risk for developing testicular germ cell cancer, but their relatives are not, according to a new study published online December 21 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Although hypospadias, the birth defect that involves an abnormally-placed urinary opening, and cryptorchidism, the lack of descension of one or both testes in the scrotal sac, are associated with a risk of developing testicular germ cell cancer, it was unclear whether all three were part of an inheritable dysgenesis syndrome.

To study this relationship, Tine H. Schnack, M.D., of the Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institute, in Copenhagen, and colleagues identified over 2 million men born since 1953. They were followed from April 1968 through May 2008. First-, second-, and third-degree relatives were identified in the Danish Family Relations Database; cryptorchidism and hypospadias patients were identified in the Danish Hospital Discharge Register; and testicular germ cell cancer patients were identified in the Danish Cancer Register.

Men with a personal history of cryptorchidism or hypospadias had an increased relative risk of developing testicular germ cell cancer, but their relatives did not. A total of 5,441 patients developed testicular germ cell cancer.

The authors write that "…a family history of hypospadias or cryptorchidism was not associated with a general increase in the risk of developing [testicular germ cell cancer]. Thus, our data do not support the hypothesis of shared inheritability of the disorders described under testicular dysgenesis syndrome."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Single-cell study in a childhood brain tumor affirms the importance of context

April 20, 2018
In defining the cellular context of diffuse midline gliomas, researchers find the cells fueling their growth and suggest a potential approach to treating them: forcing their cells to be more mature.

Aggressive breast cancer already has resistant tumour cells prior to chemotherapy

April 20, 2018
Difficult to treat and aggressive "triple-negative" breast cancer is chemoresistant even before chemotherapy begins, a new study by researchers from Karolinska Institutet and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ...

Mechanism that drives development of liver cancer brought on by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease discovered

April 19, 2018
A team of researchers from several institutions in China has found a mechanism that appears to drive the development of a type of liver cancer not caused by alcohol consumption. In their paper published in the journal Science ...

Discovery adds to evidence that some children are predisposed to develop leukemia

April 19, 2018
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital researchers have made a discovery that expands the list of genes to include when screening individuals for possible increased susceptibility to childhood leukemia. The finding is reported ...

Scientists identify 170 potential lung cancer drug targets using unique cellular library

April 19, 2018
After testing more than 200,000 chemical compounds, UT Southwestern's Simmons Cancer Center researchers have identified 170 chemicals that are potential candidates for development into drug therapies for lung cancer.

Chip-based blood test for multiple myeloma could make bone biopsies a relic of the past

April 19, 2018
The diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting plasma cells, traditionally forces patients to suffer through a painful bone biopsy. During that procedure, doctors insert a bone-biopsy needle through an ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

samlehmanwilzig
not rated yet Dec 22, 2009
During the 1950s many pregnant women were given DES to "prevent miscarriages" and their male sons had a proportionately higher incidence of Hypospadius. Thus, if these people were part of the sample, it would have undermined the "extended family" connection results because their condition was not a genetic one, but rather environmentally and artificially induced.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.