Research Article| Volume 157, ISSUE 1, P106-114, April 2020

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Germline mutations of SMARCA4 in small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type and in SMARCA4-deficient undifferentiated uterine sarcoma: Clinical features of a single family and comparison of large cohorts

Published:January 15, 2020DOI:


      • SCCOHT and SMARCA4-DUS are morphological and genetically related tumors driven by loss of function mutations in SMARCA4.
      • These tumors affect young women and generally carry a poor prognosis.
      • Identification of germline mutations in SMARCA4 is critical to providing counseling and treatment to affected individuals.



      Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) and SMARCA4-deficient undifferentiated uterine sarcoma (SMARCA4-DUS) are rare and aggressive tumors, primarily affecting pre- and perimenopausal women. Inactivating SMARCA4 mutations are thought to be the driving molecular events in the majority of these tumors. Here, we report the clinical course of a family with germline SMARCA4 mutation and compare large cohorts of these rare tumor types.


      We extracted clinico-pathological medical record data for the family with germline SMARCA4 mutation. Clinico-genomic data from SCCOHT and SMARCA4-DUS cohorts were retrospectively extracted from the archives of a large CLIA-certified reference molecular laboratory.


      We identified a single family with an inherited germline SMARCA4 mutation, in which two different family members developed either SCCOHT or SMARCA4-DUS, both of whom died within one year of diagnosis, despite aggressive surgical, chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatment. Retrospective comparative analysis of large SCCOHT (n = 48) and SMARCA4-DUS (n = 17) cohorts revealed that SCCOHT patients were younger (median age: 28.5 vs. 49.0) and more likely to have germline SMARCA4 alterations (37.5% vs. 11.8%) than SMARCA4-DUS patients.


      Growing understanding of the role SMARCA4 plays in the pathogenesis of these rare cancers may inform recommended genetic testing and counseling in families with these tumor types.


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