Evidence that recessive cellular alleles at specific chromosomal loci are involved in tumorigenesis has been recently shown by work on tissues from patients with retinoblastoma, a neoplasm of embryonic retina whose predisposition is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. A comparison of germ-line and tumor genotypes at loci on human chromosome 13, defined by restriction fragment length polymorphisms, showed that loss of the chromosome bearing the wild-type allele at the Rb-1 locus occurred frequently in the development of retinoblastoma. We report here results of similar studies of another embryonal neoplasm, Wilms' tumour of the kidney. Examination of germline and tumor genotypes from seven patients showed that five cases were consistent with the presence on human chromosome 11 of a locus in which recessive mutational events are expressed after abnormal chromosomal segregation events during mitosis.
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