Surveillance Screening in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome: Raising Awareness of False Positives

  • Kumar P
  • Gill R
  • Phelps A
  • et al.
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Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is a rare cancer predisposition syndrome inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion that involves a germline mutation of tumor protein 53 (TP53). With the advent of more accessible and accurate genetic testing methods, along with more widespread knowledge of LFS, asymptomatic carriers can now be more easily identified. No general surveillance protocols were previously recommended other than routine physical exams and breast and colon cancer screening at younger ages, primarily due to questions involving efficacy, cost, and clinical benefits. With more data now available to support the implementation of a surveillance protocol for cancer predisposition syndromes such as LFS, preventative screening has become a national standard of care. However, as surveillance becomes more integrated into patient care, the benefits and risks must be further evaluated. We briefly describe our institutional experience with surveillance screening in LFS and describe two patients in depth where surveillance imaging brought to light false positives that led to increased utilization of resources and concern for new malignancy. Though the benefits of surveillance are clear, it is important to understand the potential for false positives involved with instituting this practice. Continued research of this topic is thus warranted, perhaps with larger prospective studies, to better capture the survival benefits of patients undergoing surveillance screening and more comprehensively understand the incidence of false positives.




Kumar, P., Gill, R. M., Phelps, A., Tulpule, A., Matthay, K., & Nicolaides, T. (2018). Surveillance Screening in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome: Raising Awareness of False Positives. Cureus.

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