The pluripotent cells of the embryonic ectodermal tissues are known to be a precursor for multiple tumor types. The adaptability of these cells is a trait exploited by cancer. We previously described cancer-associated microsatellite loci (CAML) shared between glioblastoma (GBM) and lower-grade gliomas. Therefore, we hypothesized that these variants, identified from germline DNA, are shared by cancers from tissues originating from ectodermal tissues: neural tube cells (NTC) and crest cells (NCC). Using exome sequencing data from four cancers with origins to NTC and NCC, a 'signature' of loci significant to each cancer (p-value ≤ 0.01) was created and compared with previously identified CAML from breast cancer. The results of this analysis show that variant loci among the cancers with tissue origins from NTC/NCC were closely linked. Signaling pathways linked to genes with non-coding CAML genotypes revealed enriched connections to hereditary, neurological, and developmental disease or disorders. Thus, variants in genes from tissues initiating from NTC/NCC, if recurrently detected, may indicate a common etiology. Additionally, CAML genotypes from non-tumor DNA may predict cancer phenotypes and are common to shared embryonic tissues of origin.
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