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Cancer Res. 2006 Aug 1;66(15):7810-7.

Screening for Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) among endometrial cancer patients.

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Human Cancer Genetics Program, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, 420 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer in women with Lynch syndrome. The identification of individuals with Lynch syndrome is desirable because they can benefit from increased cancer surveillance. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and desirability of molecular screening for Lynch syndrome in all endometrial cancer patients. Unselected endometrial cancer patients (N = 543) were studied. All tumors underwent microsatellite instability (MSI) testing. Patients with MSI-positive tumors underwent testing for germ line mutations in MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2. Of 543 tumors studied, 118 (21.7%) were MSI positive (98 of 118 MSI high and 20 of 118 MSI low). All 118 patients with MSI-positive tumors had mutation testing, and nine of them had deleterious germ line mutations (one MLH1, three MSH2, and five MSH6). In addition, one case with an MSI-negative tumor had abnormal MSH6 immunohistochemical staining and was subsequently found to have a mutation in MSH6. Immunohistochemical staining was consistent with the mutation result in all seven truncating mutation-positive cases but was not consistent in two of the three missense mutation cases. We conclude that in central Ohio, at least 1.8% (95% confidence interval, 0.9-3.5%) of newly diagnosed endometrial cancer patients had Lynch syndrome. Seven of the 10 Lynch syndrome patients did not meet any published criteria for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, and six of them were diagnosed at age >50. Studying all endometrial cancer patients for Lynch syndrome using a combination of MSI and immunohistochemistry for molecular prescreening followed by gene sequencing and deletion analysis is feasible and may be desirable.

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