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Concept: MLH1


Lynch syndrome (LS) is characterised by the development of colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer and various other cancers, and is caused by a mutation in one of the mismatch repair genes: MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2. In 2007, a group of European experts (the Mallorca group) published guidelines for the clinical management of LS. Since then substantial new information has become available necessitating an update of the guidelines. In 2011 and 2012 workshops were organised in Palma de Mallorca. A total of 35 specialists from 13 countries participated in the meetings. The first step was to formulate important clinical questions. Then a systematic literature search was performed using the Pubmed database and manual searches of relevant articles. During the workshops the outcome of the literature search was discussed in detail. The guidelines described in this paper may be helpful for the appropriate management of families with LS. Prospective controlled studies should be undertaken to improve further the care of these families.

Concepts: Cancer, DNA repair, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, MSH2, MLH1, Palma, Majorca, PMS2


Fordyce spots are a frequent condition under which sebaceous glands are found in the oral mucosa. There are 2 studies in the literature that have found an association between Fordyce spots and either Muir-Torre syndrome or Lynch syndrome. Despite this, no study on the expression of mismatch repair (MMR) proteins has been performed on biopsies of Fordyce granules. In this study, we intend to study the expression of MMR proteins under Fordyce condition. We investigated 9 cases of Fordyce spots of the oral mucosa from 6 men and 3 women, using immunohistochemistry with antibodies for the MutS protein homolog 6 (MSH6), MutS protein homolog 2 (MSH2), MutL protein homolog 1 (MLH1), and postmeiotic segregation increased 2 (PMS2). All cases showed the preservation of the expression of all markers. Even though a strong association has been demonstrated between Lynch syndrome and Fordyce spots, our study suggests that studying the biopsies of Fordyce condition by immunohistochemistry for MMR proteins might not be necessary.

Concepts: Antibody, Oral mucosa, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Penis, MSH2, MLH1, Fordyce's spot, PMS2


The clinical classification of hereditary sequence variants identified in disease-related genes directly affects clinical management of patients and their relatives. The International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours (InSiGHT) undertook a collaborative effort to develop, test and apply a standardized classification scheme to constitutional variants in the Lynch syndrome-associated genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2. Unpublished data submission was encouraged to assist in variant classification and was recognized through microattribution. The scheme was refined by multidisciplinary expert committee review of the clinical and functional data available for variants, applied to 2,360 sequence alterations, and disseminated online. Assessment using validated criteria altered classifications for 66% of 12,006 database entries. Clinical recommendations based on transparent evaluation are now possible for 1,370 variants that were not obviously protein truncating from nomenclature. This large-scale endeavor will facilitate the consistent management of families suspected to have Lynch syndrome and demonstrates the value of multidisciplinary collaboration in the curation and classification of variants in public locus-specific databases.

Concepts: Gene, Biology, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Collaboration, MSH2, MLH1, PMS2, MSH6


BACKGROUND AND AIM: The majority of mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutations causing Lynch syndrome (LS) occur either in MLH1 or MSH2. However, the relative contribution of PMS2 is less well defined. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of PMS2 in LS by assessing the pathogenicity of variants of unknown significance (VUS) detected in the mutational analysis of PMS2 in a series of Spanish patients. METHODS: From a cohort of 202 LS suspected patients, 13 patients showing loss of PMS2 expression in tumours were screened for germline mutations in PMS2, using a long range PCR based strategy and multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification (MLPA). Pathogenicity assessment of PMS2 VUS was performed evaluating clinicopathological data, frequency in control population and in silico and in vitro analyses at the RNA and protein level. RESULTS: Overall 25 different PMS2 DNA variants were detected. Fourteen were classified as polymorphisms. Nine variants were classified as pathogenic: seven alterations based on their molecular nature and two after demonstrating a functional defect (c.538-3C>G affected mRNA processing and c.137G>T impaired MMR activity). The c.1569C>G variant was classified as likely neutral while the c.384G>A remained as a VUS. We have also shown that the polymorphic variant c.59G>A is MMR proficient. CONCLUSIONS: Pathogenic PMS2 mutations were detected in 69% of patients harbouring LS associated tumours with loss of PMS2 expression. In all, PMS2 mutations account for 6% of the LS cases identified. The comprehensive functional analysis shown here has been useful in the classification of PMS2 VUS and contributes to refining the role of PMS2 in LS.

Concepts: DNA, Cancer, Mutation, Messenger RNA, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Mathematical analysis, In vitro, MLH1


Lynch syndrome (LS) patients are at high risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Phenotypic variability might in part be explained by common susceptibility loci identified in Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). Previous studies focused mostly on MLH1, MSH2 and MSH6 carriers, with conflicting results. We aimed to determine the role of GWAS SNPs in PMS2 mutation carriers. A cohort study was performed in 507 PMS2 carriers (124 CRC cases), genotyped for 24 GWAS SNPs, including SNPs at 11q23.1 and 8q23.3. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using a weighted Cox regression analysis to correct for ascertainment bias. Discrimination was assessed with a concordance statistic in a bootstrap cross-validation procedure. Individual SNPs only had non-significant associations with CRC occurrence with HRs lower than 2, although male carriers of allele A at rs1321311 (6p21.31) may have increased risk of CRC (HR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.2-3.0). A polygenic risk score (PRS) based on 24 HRs had an HR of 2.6 (95% CI 1.5-4.6) for the highest compared to the lowest quartile, but had no discriminative ability (c statistic 0.52). Previously suggested SNPs do not modify CRC risk in PMS2 carriers. Future large studies are needed for improved risk stratification among Lynch syndrome patients.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Genetics, Cancer, Statistics, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Genome-wide association study, MLH1


Until recently, no prediction models for Lynch syndrome (LS) had been validated for PMS2 mutation carriers. We aimed to evaluate MMRpredict and PREMM5 in a clinical cohort and for PMS2 mutation carriers specifically. In a retrospective, clinic-based cohort we calculated predictions for LS according to MMRpredict and PREMM5. The area under the operator receiving characteristic curve (AUC) was compared between MMRpredict and PREMM5 for LS patients in general and for different LS genes specifically. Of 734 index patients, 83 (11%) were diagnosed with LS; 23 MLH1, 17 MSH2, 31 MSH6 and 12 PMS2 mutation carriers. Both prediction models performed well for MLH1 and MSH2 (AUC 0.80 and 0.83 for PREMM5 and 0.79 for MMRpredict) and fair for MSH6 mutation carriers (0.69 for PREMM5 and 0.66 for MMRpredict). MMRpredict performed fair for PMS2 mutation carriers (AUC 0.72), while PREMM5 failed to discriminate PMS2 mutation carriers from non-mutation carriers (AUC 0.51). The only statistically significant difference between PMS2 mutation carriers and non-mutation carriers was proximal location of colorectal cancer (77 vs. 28%, p < 0.001). Adding location of colorectal cancer to PREMM5 considerably improved the models performance for PMS2 mutation carriers (AUC 0.77) and overall (AUC 0.81 vs. 0.72). We validated these results in an external cohort of 376 colorectal cancer patients, including 158 LS patients. MMRpredict and PREMM5 cannot adequately identify PMS2 mutation carriers. Adding location of colorectal cancer to PREMM5 may improve the performance of this model, which should be validated in larger cohorts.

Concepts: Cancer, Statistical significance, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, MSH2, MLH1, PMS2, MSH6


Muir-Torre syndrome is a clinical variant of Lynch syndrome defined by the synchronous or metachronous occurrence of at least one sebaceous neoplasm and at least one Lynch syndrome-related internal cancer. Although screening guidelines for patients with colorectal carcinomas have been established, screening guidelines for cutaneous Muir-Torre associated neoplasms are not currently available. As such, we reviewed the current evidence for the use of MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 immunohistochemistry when cutaneous Muir-Torre associated neoplasms are encountered. We identified weak to moderate support overall for the global use of these assays, with some evidence suggesting a tailored approach using clinical parameters as an adjunct. We also assessed the current utilization patterns of attendees of the American Society of Dermatopathology Annual Meeting (Chicago, 2016). We found that 91% of respondents utilize mismatch repair immunohistochemistry, with the majority utilizing these tests only when requested by the submitting clinician.

Concepts: Cancer, Carcinoma in situ, The Canon of Medicine, Anatomical pathology, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, MSH2, MLH1


Lynch syndrome, caused by germline mutations in the mismatch repair genes, is associated with increased cancer risk. Here using a large whole-genome sequencing data bank, cancer registry and colorectal tumour bank we determine the prevalence of Lynch syndrome, associated cancer risks and pathogenicity of several variants in the Icelandic population. We use colorectal cancer samples from 1,182 patients diagnosed between 2000-2009. One-hundred and thirty-two (11.2%) tumours are mismatch repair deficient per immunohistochemistry. Twenty-one (1.8%) have Lynch syndrome while 106 (9.0%) have somatic hypermethylation or mutations in the mismatch repair genes. The population prevalence of Lynch syndrome is 0.442%. We discover a translocation disrupting MLH1 and three mutations in MSH6 and PMS2 that increase endometrial, colorectal, brain and ovarian cancer risk. We find thirteen mismatch repair variants of uncertain significance that are not associated with cancer risk. We find that founder mutations in MSH6 and PMS2 prevail in Iceland unlike most other populations.

Concepts: Cancer, Risk, DNA repair, Brain tumor, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Ovarian cancer, MLH1


Although consensus has yet to be reached on universal mismatch-repair (MMR) protein immunohistochemical (IHC) screening for Lynch syndrome (LS) in endometrial cancer (EC), an increasing number of institutions have adopted universal screening protocols similar to those used for colorectal carcinoma. Here we describe our institution’s experience with a prospective universal screening protocol in which all ECs resected over a period of 19 months (n=242) were screened for MLH1, PMS2, MSH2, and MSH6 deficiencies using IHC, followed by MLH1 promoter methylation testing when appropriate. When consent was obtained, tumor samples underwent next-generation sequencing. A total of 11 unmethylated MMR-deficient cases (4.5% of cohort) were identified through IHC screening. Germline testing was performed in 10 cases and confirmed LS in 4 patients (1.7% of cohort). Of our 4 confirmed LS cases, 1 did not meet traditional LS screening criteria (eg, age below 50 y, Revised Bethesda criteria). In addition, universal screening identified 6 germline-negative MMR-deficient nonmethylated cases, 4 of which occurred in women older than 50. Although our next-generation sequencing data suggest somatic mutations in 4 of these cases, it is possible that these cases may represent cases of “Lynch-like syndrome.” We conclude that a subset of LS cases could be missed using traditional screening guidelines. The value of screening for Lynch-like syndrome has yet to be determined. Although the cost-effectiveness of universal screening in EC has yet to be elucidated, we conclude that universal IHC screening is currently a reasonable, and arguably superior, approach to screening for LS.

Concepts: Cancer, Mutation, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Screening, Endometrial cancer, MLH1, PMS2


Mismatch repair-deficient (dMMR) colorectal cancer (CRC) is caused by Lynch syndrome (LS) in 3% and sporadic inactivation of MLH1 by hypermethylation (MLH1-hm) in 12% of cases. It is not clear whether outcomes between LS-associated and MLH1-hm CRC differ. The objective of this study was to explore differences in clinical factors and outcomes in these two groups.

Concepts: DNA, Cancer, The Canon of Medicine, Colorectal cancer, Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, Difference, Lynch syndrome, MLH1