Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Gut. 2007 Jul;56(7):926-33. Epub 2007 Jan 31.

Is gastric cancer part of the tumour spectrum of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer? A molecular genetic study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, University of Helsinki, Biomedicum Helsinki, P O Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8), Helsinki 00014 Finland.



Gastric cancer is the second most common extracolonic malignancy in individuals with hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)/Lynch syndrome. As gastric cancer is relatively common in the general population as well, it is not clear whether or not gastric cancer is a true HNPCC spectrum malignancy.


To determine whether or not gastric cancer is a true HNPCC spectrum malignancy.


The molecular and clinicopathological profiles of gastric cancers (n = 13) from HNPCC mutation carriers were evaluated and compared with the profiles of sporadic gastric cancers (n = 46) stratified by histology and microsatellite instability (MSI) status.


This study on sporadic and HNPCC gastric cancers revealed several important universal associations. Loss of heterozygosity in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) region was associated with intestinal histology regardless of the MSI (p = 0.007). KRAS-mutations (p = 0.019) and frameshift mutations in repeat tracts of growth-regulatory genes (p<0.001) were associated with MSI tumours being absent in microsatellite stable (MSS) tumours. The average number of methylated tumour suppressor gene loci among the 24 genes studied (methylation index) was higher in MSI than in MSS tumours regardless of histology (p<0.001). Gastric cancers from HNPCC mutation carriers resembled sporadic intestinal MSI gastric cancers, except that MLH1 promoter methylation was absent (p<0.001) and the general methylation index was lower (p = 0.038), suggesting similar, but not identical, developmental pathways. All these lacked the mismatch repair protein corresponding to the germline mutation and displayed high MSI.


The present molecular evidence, combined with the previous demonstration of an increased incidence relative to the general population, justify considering gastric cancers as true HNPCC spectrum malignancies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center