ABSTRACT: Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is associated in more than 95% to a germline mutation in the genes of the mismatch repair (MMR) of DNA. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of immunohistochemistry, a simple and fast technique, in the triage of families where HNPCC is suspected. Tumor samples included in this study were from patients with resection for colorectal cancer, examined in our laboratory between 2004 and 2007. For each case, a formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue block containing tumor tissue and normal adjacent mucosa was selected. Tumor specimens were examined with immunohistochemistry for the presence of hMLH1, hMSH2, and hMSH6 proteins. Scoring of the tumor staining was performed without any knowledge of patients' family history. The loss of protein expression was noted in four patients among 48 cases tested: two cases with isolated loss of hMSH2, a case with isolated loss of hMSH6 and one case with combined loss of MSH2/MSH6. No case has shown a suppression of hMLH1 protein. Comparing the immunohistochemical results for clinical has revealed a clear correlation between loss of protein expression demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and clinical data. Indeed, three cases among the four who showed no expression of MMR proteins showed at least one clinical criterion predictive of HNPCC. In conclusion, our study support the potential utility of immunohistochemistry to identify a significant portion of colorectal tumors derived from germline mutation of MMR genes and can be used as an adjunct measure in the identification of HNPCC.
Annales de biologie clinique 04/2011; 69(2):167-73. · 0.34 Impact Factor