Cancer predisposition syndromes are associated with an increased risk of developing primary malignancies. Here we discuss those which are associated with an increased risk of tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) and gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These can be grouped into those in which the CNS tumors predominate versus those in which the GI cancers predominate. The former include constitutional mismatch repair deficiency (CMMRD) syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), and Cowden syndrome (CS) while the latter include familial adenomatosis polyposis 1 (FAP1), Lynch syndrome and polymerase proofreading-associated polyposis syndrome (PPAP). Tumor specificity does exist as medulloblastoma occur in FAP, LFS and CMMRD while glioma are most commonly seen in all replication repair-deficient genes and LFS. Choroid plexus carcinoma is strictly observed in LFS while Cowden syndrome patients develop Lhermitte Duclos disease or meningioma. In each syndrome, specific types of low-grade and high-grade gastrointestinal cancers can occur, but these will be discussed elsewhere. Underlying cancer predisposition syndromes are important to consider when faced with brain tumors, particularly in the pediatric and young adult age groups, as identification of an underlying germ line mutation may change the upfront management of the patient and has implications for future cancer surveillance for both the patient and potentially affected family members. Considerations of family history, presence of skin lesions and consanguinity provide valuable information in identifying patients at potential increased risk.
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