Send to

Choose Destination
Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(7):1000-10. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2011.596987. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

MLH1 promoter methylation, diet, and lifestyle factors in mismatch repair deficient colorectal cancer patients from EPIC-Norfolk.

Author information

Medical Research Council Dunn Human Nutrition Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


There is conflicting evidence for the role diet and lifestyle play in the development of mismatch repair (MMR)-deficient colorectal cancers (CRC). In this study, associations between MMR deficiency, clinicopathological characteristics, and dietary and lifestyle factors in sporadic CRC were investigated. Tumor samples from 185 individuals in the EPIC-Norfolk study were analyzed for MLH1 gene promoter methylation and microsatellite instability (MSI). Dietary and lifestyle data were collected prospectively using 7-day food diaries (7dd) and questionnaires. MMR-deficient tumor cases (MLH1 promoter methylation positive, MSI-H) were more likely to be female, older at diagnosis, early Dukes' stage (A/B), and proximal in location (MSI-H P = 0.03, 0.03, 0.02, and 0.001, respectively). Tumors with positive MLH1 promoter methylation (>20%) were associated with poor differentiation (P = 0.03). Low physical activity was associated with cases without MSI (P = 0.05). MMR deficiency was not significantly associated with cigarette smoking or alcohol, folate, fruit, vegetable, or meat consumption. We conclude that MMR-deficient tumors represent a distinct subset of sporadic CRC that are proximal in location, early Dukes' stage, and poorly differentiated, in cases that are female and older at diagnosis. There is no overall role for diet and lifestyle in MMR status in CRC, consistent with age-related susceptibility to MLH1 promoter methylation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center