Lynch Syndrome From a Surgeon Perspective

Retrospective Study of Clinical Impact of Mismatch Repair Protein Expression Analysis in Colorectal Cancer Patients Less Than 50 Years Old

Gian Luca Baiocchi; Nazario Portolani; William Vermi; Carla Baronchelli; Federico Gheza; Claudio Zogno; Alessandro Scaglia; Eleonora Marchina; Guido AM Tiberio; Stefano Maria Giulini


BMC Surg. 2014;14(9) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background In clinical practice, unexpected diagnosis of colorectal cancer in young patients requires prompt surgery, thus genetic testing for Lynch Syndrome is frequently missed, and clinical management may result incorrect.

Methods Patients younger than 50 years old undergoing colorectal resection for cancer in the period 1994–2007 were identified (Group A, 49 cases), and compared to a group of randomly selected patients more than 50 (Group B, 85 cases). In 31 group A patients, immunohistochemical expression analysis of MLH1, MSH2 and MSH6 was performed; personal and familial history of patients with defective MMR proteins expression was further investigated, searching for synchronous and metachronous tumors in probands and their families.

Results Fifty-one percent of patients did not express one or more MMR proteins (MMR-) and should be considered Lynch Syndrome carriers (16 patients, group A1); while only 31.2% of them were positive for Amsterdam criteria, 50% had almost another tumor, 37.5% had another colorectal tumor and 68% had relatives with colorectal tumor. This group of patients, compared with A2 group (< 50 years old, MMR+) and B group, showed typical characteristics of HNPCC, such as proximal location, mucinous histotype, poor differentiation, high stage and shorter survival.

Conclusions The present study confirms that preoperative knowledge of MMR proteins expression in colorectal cancer patients would allow correct staging, more extended colonic resection, specific follow-up and familial screening.