Ovarian Clear Cell Carcinoma in Cowden Syndrome

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Cowden syndrome (CS) is an autosomal dominant mendelian disease related to germline pathogenic variants affecting the PTEN-gene. CS is characterized by macrocephaly, mucocutaneous lesions, and an increased risk of breast and thyroid cancers. Rare ovarian cancer cases (mostly embryonic tumors) associated with PTEN have been described in the literature, but no current CS guidelines are available for ovarian cancer risk management. We report on a woman diagnosed with ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) at 28 years of age. The patient displayed macrocephaly, trichilemmomas, oral papillomatosis, and acral keratosis. A family history of multiple cancer cases within the PTEN-related tumor spectrum was identified. In addition, PET scan and fine-needle biopsy results led to a diagnosis of thyroid follicular neoplasia. PTEN sequencing revealed that she carried a germline inherited pathogenic variant in exon 5 c.388C>T, p.(Arg130*) (NM_000314). Somatic mismatch repair immunohistochemistry analysis showed normal expression, and germline BRCA1/2 sequencing did not reveal pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants. An ovarian cell immunohistochemistry analysis reported total loss of PTEN expression, which strongly suggested the role of PTEN in the oncogenesis of this cancer. Hence, a total thyroid resection was performed instead of thyroid lobectomy and a risk-reducing bilateral mastectomy was discussed. Co-occurrence of this pathogenic germline mutation in PTEN in this patient, early development of OCCC at age 28 years, and total loss of PTEN expression in the tumor might support the involvement of PTEN in the carcinogenesis of her ovarian cancer. We describe a new ovarian cancer case with an atypical histologic type—clear cell carcinoma—in CS. This observation might be the first indication of the need to expand the PTEN-related tumor spectrum to incorporate OCCC. The CS diagnosis significantly changed the therapeutic outcome of this patient.

Correspondence: Carole Corsini, MD, Service D'oncogénétique, CHU Montpellier, Hôpital Arnaud de Villeneuve, 371 Avenue du Doyen Gaston Giraud, 34295 Montpellier Cedex 5, France. Email: c-corsini@chu-montpellier.fr
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