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Desmoids are locally aggressive, non-metastasizing soft-tissue tumours, whose aetiology is still unclear. In patients affected with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), the incidence of desmoids is much higher than in the general population. The APC gene, which is responsible for FAP, is involved in the development of desmoids associated with this syndrome. In this study 16 sporadic and four FAP-related desmoids were analysed in order to investigate the possible involvement of APC in non-syndromic cases also. The 5' end (exons 1-11) and the coding portion of exon 15 of APC were screened using the in vitro synthesized-protein assay (IVSP). Exons 5, 6, 8-14, and a region of exon 15 spanning codons 1036-1634 were investigated by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. APC germline mutations were identified in all FAP patients, but not in sporadic cases. Somatic mutations were found in three FAP-associated desmoids (75%) and two sporadic tumours (12.5%). In one of the latter cases, both alleles were affected. These findings indicate a limited role of the gene in the development of desmoid tumours outside FAP.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





582 - 587


Adenomatous Polyposis Coli, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Female, Fibromatosis, Abdominal, Fibromatosis, Aggressive, Genes, APC, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Mutation, Neoplastic Syndromes, Hereditary, Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational