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||Familial and genetic risk of transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary tract.
||Mueller CM, Caporaso N, Greene MH
||Environmental exposures, including tobacco smoke and occupational exposure to aromatic amines, have been implicated in bladder cancer etiology. However, the pathogenesis of urinary bladder transitional cell carcinoma remains incompletely defined. In epidemiologic studies, family history confers a 2-fold increase in bladder cancer risk, but it is uncertain whether this represents evidence of a genetic and/or a shared environmental basis for familial aggregation. Polymorphisms in genes involved in the metabolism of environmental toxins (e.g., NAT2) clearly modify individual susceptibility to bladder cancer. A genetic predisposition has also been suggested by case reports describing multiple-case families, and the development of bladder cancer in association with several well-described Mendelian disorders (e.g., HNPCC, retinoblastoma). Here we update a previously reported family, report a new multiple-case kindred, critically review previously reported bladder cancer families, and the epidemiologic literature related to family history of transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary tract (TCCUT) as a risk factor, as well as provide a brief summary of genetic factors that have been implicated in TCCUT risk. We conclude that familial TCCUT is either very uncommon or significantly under-reported, perhaps on the assumption that this is an environmental rather than a genetic disorder. The interaction between multiple genetic and environmental factors has made it challenging to identify genetic components responsible for many common diseases; therefore, a proposed genome-wide association study (GWAS) for urinary bladder cancer may help to clarify the etiologic role of the candidate genetic pathways reviewed here, as well as characterize gene/environment interactions that contribute to TCCUT carcinogenesis.