Ultra-hypermutation (>100 mutations/Mb) is rare in childhood cancer genomes and has been primarily reported in patients with constitutional mismatch repair deficiency (CMMRD) caused by biallelic germline mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutations. We report a 5-yr-old child with classic clinical features of CMMRD and an ultra-hypermutated medulloblastoma with retained MMR protein expression and absence of germline MMR mutations. Mutational signature analysis of tumor panel sequencing data revealed a canonical DNA polymerase-deficiency-associated signature, prompting further genetic testing that uncovered a germline POLE p.A456P missense variant, which has previously been reported as a recurrent somatic driver mutation in cancers. This represents the earliest known onset of malignancy in a patient with a germline mutation in the POLE proofreading polymerase. The clinical features in this child, virtually indistinguishable from those of CMMRD, suggest that polymerase-proofreading deficiency should be considered in the differential diagnosis of CMMRD patients with retained MMR function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine