A prospective, multicenter, population-based study of BRAF mutational analysis for Lynch syndrome screening.

Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology: the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (Impact Factor: 5.64). 02/2008; 6(2):206-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2007.10.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mismatch repair (MMR) deficiencies are the hallmark of tumors arising in Lynch syndrome, however, in approximately 15% of sporadic colorectal cancers (CRC) these deficiencies most often are associated with somatic methylation of the MMR gene MLH1. Recently, an oncogenic mutation in the BRAF gene has been involved in sporadic CRC showing MMR deficiencies as a result of MLH1 promoter methylation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of BRAF V600E mutation analysis in the identification of MSH2/MLH1 gene mutation carriers in newly diagnosed CRC patients.
BRAF V600E mutation was analyzed in CRC patients with MMR deficiencies (microsatellite instability and/or lack of MLH1/MSH2 protein expression) in the EPICOLON population-based study. The effectiveness and efficiency of different strategies were evaluated with respect to the presence of MSH2/MLH1 germline mutations.
MMR deficiencies were detected in 119 of the 1222 CRC patients with tumors showing either microsatellite instability (n = 111) or loss of protein expression (n = 81). BRAF mutation was detected in 22 (18.5%) of the patients. None of the patients with unambiguous germline mutation had BRAF mutation. Regardless of the strategy used to identify MSH2/MLH1 gene carriers, the introduction of BRAF analysis in these patients slightly improves their effectiveness. The introduction of BRAF mutation analysis as a step before germline genetic testing in patients with MMR deficiencies achieved a significant reduction in costs per mutation detected.
Detection of BRAF V600E mutation could simplify and improve the cost effectiveness of genetic testing for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, especially in patients whose family history is incomplete or unknown.

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