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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008 Feb 20;100(4):277-81. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djm291. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

The frequency of Muir-Torre syndrome among Lynch syndrome families.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, The Ohio State University-Columbus, OH, USA.


Lynch syndrome is the predisposition to visceral malignancies that are associated with deleterious germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair genes, including MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2. Muir-Torre syndrome is a variant of Lynch syndrome that includes a predisposition to certain skin tumors. We determined the frequency of Muir-Torre syndrome among 50 Lynch syndrome families that were ascertained from a population-based series of cancer patients who were newly diagnosed with colorectal or endometrial carcinoma. Histories of Muir-Torre syndrome-associated skin tumors were documented during counseling of family members. Muir-Torre syndrome was observed in 14 (28%) of 50 families and in 14 (9.2%) of 152 individuals with Lynch syndrome. Four (44%) of nine families with MLH1 mutations had a member with Muir-Torre syndrome compared with 10 (42%) of 24 families with MSH2 mutations (P = .302). Families who carried the c.942+3A>T MSH2 gene mutation had a higher frequency of Muir-Torre syndrome than families who carried other mutations in the MSH2 gene (75% vs 25%; P = .026). Muir-Torre syndrome was not found in families with mutations in the MSH6 or PMS2 genes. Our results suggest that Muir-Torre syndrome is simply a variant of Lynch syndrome. Screening for Muir-Torre syndrome-associated skin lesions among patients with Lynch syndrome is recommended.

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