15th International Congress
15th international congress

News Release

Thursday, June 9, 2011
Media Contact:

Elizabeth Laur, (414) 276-2145, elaur@movementdisorders.org
MDS Press Room: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, Room 705

Note to media: See abstract 925

The LRRK2 G2019S mutation suggests Parkinson's disease
patients maybe predisposed to cancer

TORONTO - A study examining whether the LRRK2 mutation carrier Parkinson's disease (PD) patients have a different cancer phenotype than non-carriers was presented today at The Movement Disorder Society's 15th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

Cancer patterns in PD patients differ from those of the general population for unknown reasons. Dr. Rivka Inzelberg of the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Israel examines germline mutations in the LRRK2 gene associated with the most common autosomal dominant form of PD to find the differences.

This study examines 490 consenting Jewish PD patients who were genotyped for the predominant G2019S mutation in the LRRK2 gene. Oncological data were obtained by personal systematic questioning before DNA sampling and confirmed by reviewing patient files. Logistic regression models were applied to predict the occurrence of cancer amongst LRRK2 carriers versus non-carriers using the following variables: Age, Gender, LRRK2 status and Ethnic Group (Ashkenazi/non-Ashkenazi).

Results showed that seventy-nine (39 females) carried the G2019S mutation. Seventy-seven (16%) patients had a cancer, of those 2% two primary cancers. Non-skin cancers were observed in 18 (23%) of LRRK2 carriers versus 49 (12%) of non-carriers (p=0.01).

David Grimes, MD, of the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus in Ottawa, Canada states, "Epidemiologic evidence has demonstrated that individuals with PD have a higher risk of skin cancer (especially melanoma) and a lower incidence of many other cancers. The reason for this difference remains a mystery, but changes in the function of PD causing genes have been proposed. This study suggests that LRRK2 may be one of those factors and raises the question if this gene may have implications for cancer risks in general. However, the higher rate of only non-skin cancers in LRRK2 mutation positive PD individuals doesn't explain the higher rate of melanoma seen in PD individuals. Therefore LRRK2's potential role as a cancer predisposition gene needs to be explored in a much larger population prior to being implicated with certainty."

Ashkenazi Jewish PD patients with the G2019S LRRK2 mutation seem to be at higher risk for non-skin cancer types. These preliminary observations, if confirmed by further studies, may indicate that LRRK2 may be a cancer predisposition gene and play a role in tumorigenesis both somatically and at germline level.

About the 15th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders:
Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options for Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. More than 3,200 physicians and medical professionals from 74 countries will be able to view over 1,100 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About The Movement Disorder Society:
The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit www.movementdisorders.org.