Autism spectrum disorder (asd) and cancer: both share same genes but different outcomes.

Saeed Farajzadeh valilou,1,*

1. Genetics Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Autism spectrum disorder (asd) is a neurodevelopmental disorder and it is characterized by social and communication problems, repetitive behaviors, and restricted interests. the incidence of asd is about 1 in 68 births. this disorder is heterogeneous and several genes are responsible for the cause of asd. the high rate of genomic aberrations including chromosome rearrangements, single gene mutations and, copy number variations results in asd. some of these aberrations are involved in cancer and predispose an individual to cancers.


In this study, the pubmed database tool was used for searching information from 2010 to 2017 and autism, cancer, signaling pathway and common asd and cancer-causing genes are used as keywords.


A number of asd cases share genes with cancer. these genes are involved in many signaling pathways and are also become defected in cancer. almost all of these genes involved in chromatin remodeling and genome maintenance, and signaling pathways. some of these gene identified in previous studies are nf1, fmr1, tsc1, tsc2, rad16, pten, and foxp1.


Some cases of asd have mutations in genes that are involved in cancer as well. better understanding of the role of these genes and their functions involved in both cancer and autism would be valuable in prenatal diagnosis (pnd) and preventing the birth of neonatal carrying mutated genes. as a consequence, it could be used in decreasing prevalence of either autism or cancer or both and reduce the burden of socioeconomic problems in both families and government.


Autism cancer genes