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Heritable retinoblastoma and accelerated aortic valve disease
  1. L R Abeyratne1,
  2. J E Kingston2,
  3. Z Onadim3,
  4. S W Dubrey1
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Hillingdon Hospital, Uxbridge, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Oncology, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3Retinoblastoma Genetic Screening Unit, Barts Health NHS Trust, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr S W Dubrey, simon.dubrey{at}


Heritable retinoblastoma is associated with a germline mutation in the tumour suppressor gene RBI. The Rb protein (pRb) arises from the RB1 gene, which was the first demonstrated cancer susceptibility gene in humans. 1 Second primary malignancies are recognised complications of retinoblastoma. Furthermore, pRb is implicated in valve remodelling in calcific aortic valve disease. 2 ,3 We report a family with hereditary retinoblastoma and associated secondary primary malignancies. There are two interesting aspects to this family. The first is the concept of ‘cancer susceptibility genes’; the RBI gene being the first reported in humans. A further feature of note is that two family members also have bicuspid aortic valves. We discuss a potential association between the gene defect responsible for retinoblastoma (with its associated propensity for further malignancies) and accelerated deterioration of the bicuspid aortic valve in the proband carrying this gene defect.

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