Invitae Melanoma-Pancreatic Cancer Syndrome Panel


Test description

This test analyzes CDKN2A and CDK4, genes that are associated with melanoma-pancreatic cancer syndrome (M-PCS), which is also known as familial atypical mole-malignant melanoma syndrome (FAMMM).

Genetic testing of these genes may confirm a diagnosis and help guide treatment and management decisions. Identification of a disease-causing variant would also guide testing and diagnosis of at-risk relatives. This test is specifically designed for heritable germline mutations and is not appropriate for the detection of somatic mutations in tumor tissue.

Order test

Primary panel (2 genes)


CDKN2A: Analysis supports interpretation of the p16 protein only

Alternative tests to consider

CDKN2A and CDK4 can also be ordered as part of a broader panel to test for different types of hereditary cancer, including pancreatic cancer. Depending on the individual’s clinical and family history, one of these broader panels may be appropriate. Any of these broader panels can be ordered at no additional charge.

Melanoma-pancreatic cancer syndrome (M-PCS)

Most melanoma is sporadic; approximately 5%-12% of cases are hereditary. Up to 40% of hereditary cases are associated with melanoma-pancreatic cancer syndrome (M-PCS), also known as familial atypical mole-malignant melanoma syndrome (FAMMM). The condition is characterized by numerous (>50) atypical nevi that develop at an earlier age than usual. Depending on lifetime sun exposure, affected individuals with atypical nevi have a 28%-67% risk of developing melanoma. Individuals with M-PCS have an increased risk for pancreatic cancer, estimated at approximately 17%.

Pathogenic variants in CDKN2A and CDK4 are associated with M-PCS. CDK4 has so far been documented in only a small number of melanoma families. The dermatologic clinical presentation of CDK4 and CDKN2A pathogenic variants appears to be similar with early-onset cutaneous malignant melanoma with multiple primary melanomas and atypical nevi. Other non-melanoma cancer types have been observed in individuals with CDK4 pathogenic variants (including pancreatic cancer), but too few cases have been reported to establish gene-specific risks.

For individuals with a CDKN2A pathogenic variant, the risk of melanoma is 28%-67%. The lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer is estimated at 17%. There is wide variation in the published cancer-risk estimates associated with CDKN2A, which is noteworthy. The CDK4 gene has limited evidence correlating it with other cancers besides melanoma because the number of reported cases is small.

A pathogenic variant in CDKN2A is found in 35%-40% of families with three or more melanoma cases. To date, more than half of the families with multiple cases of melanoma have no identifiable pathogenic variant.

M-PCS is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. The rate of spontaneous de novo CDKN2A and CDK4 mutations is unknown.

Testing for M-PCS by analysis of the CDKN2A and CDK4 genes may be considered in those with:

  • a personal history of three or more primary melanomas
  • a personal history of melanoma and pancreatic cancer
  • a personal history of melanoma and astrocytoma
  • a family history of melanoma, astrocytoma, and/or pancreatic cancer

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics has published guidelines to identify candidates for a cancer genetics consultation regarding M-PCS:

  1. Aoude, LG, et al. Genetics of familial melanoma: 20 years after CDKN2A. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2015; 28(2):148-60. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12333. PMID: 25431349
  2. Begg, CB, et al. Lifetime risk of melanoma in CDKN2A mutation carriers in a population-based sample. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2005; 97(20):1507-15. doi: 10.1093/jnci/dji312. PMID: 16234564
  3. Bishop, DT, et al. Geographical variation in the penetrance of CDKN2A mutations for melanoma. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2002; 94(12):894-903. doi: 10.1093/jnci/94.12.894. PMID: 12072543
  4. Canto, MI, et al. International Cancer of the Pancreas Screening (CAPS) Consortium summit on the management of patients with increased risk for familial pancreatic cancer. Gut. 2013; 62(3):339-47. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2012-303108. PMID: 23135763
  5. Goldstein, AM, et al. Features associated with germline CDKN2A mutations: a GenoMEL study of melanoma-prone families from three continents. J. Med. Genet. 2007; 44(2):99-106. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2006.043802. PMID: 16905682
  6. Goldstein, AM, et al. High-risk melanoma susceptibility genes and pancreatic cancer, neural system tumors, and uveal melanoma across GenoMEL. Cancer Res. 2006; 66(20):9818-28. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-0494. PMID: 17047042
  7. Hampel, H, et al. A practice guideline from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the National Society of Genetic Counselors: referral indications for cancer predisposition assessment. Genet. Med. 2015; 17(1):70-87. doi: 10.1038/gim.2014.147. PMID: 25394175
  8. McWilliams, RR, et al. Prevalence of CDKN2A mutations in pancreatic cancer patients: implications for genetic counseling. Eur. J. Hum. Genet. 2011; 19(4):472-8. PMID: 21150883
  9. McWilliams, RR, et al. Prevalence of CDKN2A mutations in pancreatic cancer patients: implications for genetic counseling. Eur. J. Hum. Genet. 2011; 19(4):472-8. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2010.198.
  10. National Cancer Institute, Genetics of Skin Cancer-for health professionals. Accessed September 2015.
  11. National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Clinical practice guidelines in oncology. Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. Accessed September 2015.
  12. Vasen, HF, et al. Risk of developing pancreatic cancer in families with familial atypical multiple mole melanoma associated with a specific 19 deletion of p16 (p16-Leiden). Int. J. Cancer. 2000; 87(6):809-11. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(00)84701-0. PMID: 10956390

Assay and technical information

Invitae is a College of American Pathologists (CAP)-accredited and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified clinical diagnostic laboratory performing full-gene sequencing and deletion/duplication analysis using next-generation sequencing technology (NGS).

Our sequence analysis covers clinically important regions of each gene, including coding exons, +/- 10 base pairs of adjacent intronic sequence, and select noncoding variants. Our assay provides a Q30 quality-adjusted mean coverage depth of 350x (50x minimum, or supplemented with additional analysis). Variants classified as pathogenic or likely pathogenic are confirmed with orthogonal methods, except individual variants that have high quality scores and previously validated in at least ten unrelated samples.

Our analysis detects most intragenic deletions and duplications at single exon resolution. However, in rare situations, single-exon copy number events may not be analyzed due to inherent sequence properties or isolated reduction in data quality. If you are requesting the detection of a specific single-exon copy number variation, please contact Client Services before placing your order.

Gene Transcript reference Sequencing analysis Deletion/Duplication analysis
CDK4 NM_000075.3
CDKN2A* NM_000077.4, NM_058195.3

CDKN2A: Analysis supports interpretation of the p16 protein only