p.Val804Met, the Most Frequent Pathogenic Mutation in RET, Confers a Very Low Lifetime Risk of Medullary Thyroid Cancer.

11 Jun 2018

Context: To date, penetrance figures for medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) for variants in rearranged during transfection (RET) have been estimated from families ascertained because of the presence of MTC. Objective: To gain estimates of penetrance, unbiased by ascertainment, we analyzed 61 RET mutations assigned as disease causing by the American Thyroid Association (ATA) in population whole-exome sequencing data. Design: For the 61 RET mutations, we used analyses of the observed allele frequencies in ∼51,000 individuals from the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) database that were not contributed via The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA; non-TCGA ExAC), assuming lifetime penetrance for MTC of 90%, 50%, and unbounded. Setting: Population-based. Results: Ten of 61 ATA disease-causing RET mutations were present in the non-TCGA ExAC population with observed frequency consistent with penetrance for MTC of >90%. For p.Val804Met, the lifetime penetrance for MTC, estimated from the allele frequency observed, was 4% [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.9% to 8%]. Conclusions: Based on penetrance analysis in carrier relatives of p.Val804Met-positive cases of MTC, p.Val804Met is currently understood to have high-lifetime penetrance for MTC (87% by age 70), albeit of later onset of MTC than other RET mutations. Given our unbiased estimate of penetrance for RET p.Val804Met of 4% (95% CI, 0.9% to 8%), the current recommendation by the ATA of prophylactic thyroidectomy as standard for all RET mutation carriers is likely inappropriate.