Neurofibromin 1 (NF1) is a gene that codes for a tumor suppressor protein (Genetics Home Reference 2014). NF1 suppresses the function of the Ras protein, which promotes cell growth and differentiation (Genetics Home Reference 2014; Yap et al. 2014). In cancer, the tumor suppression function of the gene is impaired, leading to conditions favorable for uncontrolled cell growth. NF1 mutations have been observed in multiple cancer types, including myelodysplastic syndromes.
In addition, NF1 syndrome is a germline condition resulting in predisposition to several types of cancer, in addition to other effects (Yap et al. 2014). Cancer types associated with NF1 syndrome include glioma, melanoma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, hematologic malignancies, and other cancers (Yap et al. 2014).