Identification of Lynch Syndrome Among Patients With Colorectal Cancer

Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Clínic, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 35.29). 10/2012; 308(15):1555-65. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.13088
Source: PubMed


Lynch syndrome is the most common form of hereditary colorectal cancer (CRC) and is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Identification of gene carriers currently relies on germline analysis in patients with MMR-deficient tumors, but criteria to select individuals in whom tumor MMR testing should be performed are unclear.
To establish a highly sensitive and efficient strategy for the identification of MMR gene mutation carriers among CRC probands.
Pooled-data analysis of 4 large cohorts of newly diagnosed CRC probands recruited between 1994 and 2010 (n = 10,206) from the Colon Cancer Family Registry, the EPICOLON project, the Ohio State University, and the University of Helsinki examining personal, tumor-related, and family characteristics, as well as microsatellite instability, tumor MMR immunostaining, and germline MMR mutational status data. MAIN OUTCOME :Performance characteristics of selected strategies (Bethesda guidelines, Jerusalem recommendations, and those derived from a bivariate/multivariate analysis of variables associated with Lynch syndrome) were compared with tumor MMR testing of all CRC patients (universal screening).
Of 10,206 informative, unrelated CRC probands, 312 (3.1%) were MMR gene mutation carriers. In the population-based cohorts (n = 3671 probands), the universal screening approach (sensitivity, 100%; 95% CI, 99.3%-100%; specificity, 93.0%; 95% CI, 92.0%-93.7%; diagnostic yield, 2.2%; 95% CI, 1.7%-2.7%) was superior to the use of Bethesda guidelines (sensitivity, 87.8%; 95% CI, 78.9%-93.2%; specificity, 97.5%; 95% CI, 96.9%-98.0%; diagnostic yield, 2.0%; 95% CI, 1.5%-2.4%; P < .001), Jerusalem recommendations (sensitivity, 85.4%; 95% CI, 77.1%-93.6%; specificity, 96.7%; 95% CI, 96.0%-97.2%; diagnostic yield, 1.9%; 95% CI, 1.4%-2.3%; P < .001), and a selective strategy based on tumor MMR testing of cases with CRC diagnosed at age 70 years or younger and in older patients fulfilling the Bethesda guidelines (sensitivity, 95.1%; 95% CI, 89.8%-99.0%; specificity, 95.5%; 95% CI, 94.7%-96.1%; diagnostic yield, 2.1%; 95% CI, 1.6%-2.6%; P < .001). This selective strategy missed 4.9% of Lynch syndrome cases but resulted in 34.8% fewer cases requiring tumor MMR testing and 28.6% fewer cases undergoing germline mutational analysis than the universal approach.
Universal tumor MMR testing among CRC probands had a greater sensitivity for the identification of Lynch syndrome compared with multiple alternative strategies, although the increase in the diagnostic yield was modest.

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    • "Universal assessment of immunohistochemical MMR staining is increasingly applied in colorectal cancer diagnostics in order to identify cases suspected of Lynch syndrome for further molecular diagnostics and to obtain treatment-predictive information linked to somatic methylation of MLH1[6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Immunohistochemical staining for mismatch repair proteins is efficient and widely used to identify mismatch repair defective tumors. The tumors typically show uniform and widespread loss of MMR protein staining. We identified and characterized colorectal cancers with alternative, heterogenous mismatch repair protein staining in order to delineate expression patterns and underlying mechanisms. Heterogenous staining patterns that affected at least one of the mismatch repair proteins MLH1, PMS2, MSH2 and MSH6 were identified in 14 colorectal cancers. Based on alternative expression patterns macro-dissected and micro-dissected tumor areas were separately analyzed for microsatellite instability and MLH1 promoter methylation. Heterogenous retained/lost mismatch repair protein expression could be classified as intraglandular (within or in-between glandular formations), clonal (in whole glands or groups of glands) and compartmental (in larger tumor areas/compartments or in between different tumor blocks). These patterns coexisted in 9/14 tumors and in the majority of the tumors correlated with differences in microsatellite instability/MLH1 methylation status. Heterogenous mismatch repair status can be demonstrated in colorectal cancer. Though rare, attention to this phenomenon is recommended since it corresponds to differences in mismatch repair status that are relevant for correct classification. Virtual Slides The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Diagnostic Pathology
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    • "It is the most common form of hereditary CRC and is caused by a germ line mutation of one of the MMR genes (46). As not all LS patients fulfill the Amsterdam II criteria or revised Bethesda guidelines, not all of them are detected in the routine clinical setting (47, 48). BRAF is usually present as wild-type in LS patients, and only 1.4% of the LS patients carry a BRAF V600E mutation (49). "
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    ABSTRACT: Different genetic aberrations of BRAF have been reported in various malignancies. BRAF is member of the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway and constitutive activity of this pathway can lead to increased cellular growth, invasion, and metastasis. The most common activating BRAF mutation in colorectal cancer is the V600E mutation, which is present in 5-15% of all tumors, and up to 80% of tumors with high microsatellite instability (MSI) harbor this mutation. BRAF mutation is associated with proximal location, higher age, female gender, MSI-H, high grade, and mucinous histology, and is a marker of poor prognosis in colorectal cancer. The role of BRAF mutation as a predictive marker in respect of EGFR targeted treatments is controversial. BRAF V600 selective inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of V600 mutation positive metastatic melanoma, but the response rates in colorectal cancer are poor. This might be due to innate resistance mechanisms of colorectal cancers against the treatment solely targeting BRAF. To overcome resistance the combination of treatments, simultaneous inhibition of BRAF and MEK or PI3K/mTOR, might emerge as a successful therapeutic concept.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Frontiers in Oncology
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    • "It is characterized by an early onset of ColoRectal Cancer (CRC) and increased risk for the occurrence of several extra-colonic malignancies, in particular endometrial cancer [2]. In the largest published series 3, 1% of colorectal cases have been familiar to LS [3]. HNPCC is caused by inactivating germline mutations in the MisMatch Repair (MMR) system genes (mainly MSH2, MLH1, MSH6, but also PMS2) [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Lynch syndrome (clinically referred to as HNPCC -- Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer) is a frequent, autosomal, dominantly-inherited cancer predisposition syndrome caused by various germline alterations that affect DNA mismatch repair genes, mainly MLH1 and MSH2. Patients inheriting this predisposition are susceptible to colorectal, endometrial and other extracolonic tumors. It has recently been shown that germline deletions of the last few exons of the EPCAM gene are involved in the etiology of Lynch syndrome. Such constitutional mutations lead to subsequent epigenetic silencing of a neighbouring gene, here, MSH2, causing Lynch syndrome. Thus, deletions of the last few exons of EPCAM constitute a distinct class of mutations associated with HNPCC. Worldwide, several investigators have reported families with EPCAM 3'end deletions. The risk of colorectal cancer in carriers of EPCAM deletions is comparable to situations when patients are MSH2 mutation carriers, and is associated with high expression levels of EPCAM in colorectal cancer stem cells. A lower risk of endometrial cancer was also reported. Until now the standard diagnostic tests for Lynch syndrome have contained analyses such as immunohistochemistry and tests for microsatellite instability of mismatch repair genes. The identification of EPCAM deletions or larger EPCAM-MSH2 deletions should be included in routine mutation screening, as this has implications for cancer predisposition.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice
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