WAGR syndrome/11p deletion syndrome is a rare genetic syndrome in which there is a predisposition to several conditions, including certain malignancies, distinctive eye abnormalities, and/or intellectual disability. "WAGR" is an acronym for the characteristic abnormalities associated with the syndrome. The acronym stands for (W)ilms' Tumor, the most common form of kidney cancer in children; (A)niridia, partial or complete absence of the colored region of the eye(s) (iris or irides); (G) Genitourinary abnormalities, such as undescended testicles or hypospadias in males, or internal genital or urinary anomalies in females; and Mental (R)etardation (intellectual disability). A combination of two or more of these conditions is usually present in most individuals with WAGR syndrome/11p deletion syndrome. The clinical picture varies, depending upon the combination of associated abnormalities.
WAGR syndrome/11p deletion syndrome is caused by defects (mutations) of adjacent genes on a region of chromosome 11 (11p13). In most cases, such genetic changes (e.g., deletions at band 11p13) occur spontaneously during early embryonic development (de novo) for unknown reasons (sporadic). In very rare cases, the mutation may be inherited as the result of a rearrangement of parts of two chromosomes, which causes the loss of some genetic material (translocation) or other heritable genetic abnormality. The presence of more than one type of chromosomal makeup within an individual (mosaic deletion) resulting in WAGR syndrome/11p deletion syndrome has also been reported.
Since 1964, the names given to this disorder have changed frequently as variations in the combination of clinical symptoms present and the range of genetic abnormalities associated with it have been discovered. The term "WAGR syndrome" is now being replaced by "11p deletion syndrome" to more accurately reflect current knowledge about the disorder and to allow for consistent clinical diagnosis and genetic classification in the future.