Gene Summary

Gene:MSH2; mutS homolog 2
Summary:This locus is frequently mutated in hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC). When cloned, it was discovered to be a human homolog of the E. coli mismatch repair gene mutS, consistent with the characteristic alterations in microsatellite sequences (RER+ phenotype) found in HNPCC. Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Apr 2012]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:DNA mismatch repair protein Msh2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: MSH2 (cancer-related)

Dashti SG, Chau R, Ouakrim DA, et al.
Female Hormonal Factors and the Risk of Endometrial Cancer in Lynch Syndrome.
JAMA. 2015; 314(1):61-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Apart from hysterectomy, there is no consensus recommendation for reducing endometrial cancer risk for women with a mismatch repair gene mutation (Lynch syndrome).
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between hormonal factors and endometrial cancer risk in Lynch syndrome.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective cohort study included 1128 women with a mismatch repair gene mutation identified from the Colon Cancer Family Registry. Data were analyzed with a weighted cohort approach. Participants were recruited between 1997 and 2012 from centers across the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
EXPOSURES: Age at menarche, first and last live birth, and menopause; number of live births; hormonal contraceptive use; and postmenopausal hormone use.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Self-reported diagnosis of endometrial cancer.
RESULTS: Endometrial cancer was diagnosed in 133 women (incidence rate per 100 person-years, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.34). Endometrial cancer was diagnosed in 11% (n = 70) of women with age at menarche greater than or equal to 13 years compared with 12.6% (n = 57) of women with age at menarche less than 13 years (incidence rate per 100 person-years, 0.27 vs 0.31; rate difference, -0.04 [95% CI, -0.15 to 0.05]; hazard ratio per year, 0.85 [95% CI, 0.73 to 0.99]; P = .04). Endometrial cancer was diagnosed in 10.8% (n = 88) of parous women compared with 14.4% (n = 40) of nulliparous women (incidence rate per 100 person-years, 0.25 vs 0.43; rate difference, -0.18 [95% CI, -0.32 to -0.04]; hazard ratio, 0.21 [95% CI, 0.10 to 0.42]; P < .001). Endometrial cancer was diagnosed in 8.7% (n = 70) of women who used hormonal contraceptives greater than or equal to 1 year compared with 19.2% (n = 57) of women who used contraceptives less than 1 year (incidence rate per 100 person-years, 0.22 vs 0.45; rate difference, -0.23 [95% CI, -0.36 to -0.11]; hazard ratio, 0.39 [95% CI, 0.23 to 0.64]; P < .001). There was no statistically significant association between endometrial cancer and age at first and last live birth, age at menopause, and postmenopausal hormone use.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: For women with a mismatch repair gene mutation, some endogenous and exogenous hormonal factors were associated with a lower risk of endometrial cancer. These directions and strengths of associations were similar to those for the general population. If replicated, these findings suggest that women with a mismatch repair gene mutation may be counseled like the general population in regard to hormonal influences on endometrial cancer risk.

Durno CA, Sherman PM, Aronson M, et al.
Phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of biallelic mismatch repair deficiency (BMMR-D) syndrome.
Eur J Cancer. 2015; 51(8):977-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lynch syndrome, the most common inherited colorectal cancer syndrome in adults, is an autosomal dominant condition caused by heterozygous germ-line mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2. Inheriting biallelic (homozygous) mutations in any of the MMR genes results in a different clinical syndrome termed biallelic mismatch repair deficiency (BMMR-D) that is characterised by gastrointestinal tumours, skin lesions, brain tumours and haematologic malignancies. This recently described and under-recognised syndrome can present with adenomatous polyps leading to early-onset small bowel and colorectal adenocarcinoma. An important clue in the family history that suggests underling BMMR-D is consanguinity. Interestingly, pedigrees of BMMR-D patients typically show a paucity of Lynch syndrome cancers and most parents are unaffected. Therefore, a family history of cancers is often non-contributory. Detection of BMMR-D can lead to more appropriate genetic counselling and the implementation of targeted surveillance protocols to achieve earlier tumour detection that will allow surgical resection. This review describes an approach for diagnosis and management of these patients and their families.

Galliani CA, Sanchez IC, D'Errico MM, Bisceglia M
Selected case from the Arkadi M. Rywlin International Pathology Slide Club: carcinoma of the transverse colon in a young girl.
Adv Anat Pathol. 2015; 22(3):217-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report a case of a 14-year-old female with primary adenocarcinoma of the transverse colon. She was hospitalized after presenting with abdominal pain and signs of intestinal obstruction. There was no health antecedent or family history of neoplasia. Physical examination revealed a distended abdomen. Tenderness was elicited to palpation of the right lower quadrant. Magnetic resonance imaging of the abdomen revealed obstructive signs, with a constricting lesion in the mid-transverse colon of probable neoplastic nature. Laparoscopic segmental resection of the colon was followed by standard right hemicolectomy. A circumferential mid-transverse tumor was diagnosed as primary colorectal carcinoma (CRC) of signet-ring cell type, AJCC stage IIIC, Dukes' C stage. On the basis of immunohistochemistry and clinical data, hereditary nonpolyposis and hamartomatous colorectal cancer syndromes were excluded. Involvement of either the p53, BRAF, or K-RAS genes was ruled out by immunohistochemistry profiling and genetic testing. The neoplasm was categorized as sporadic. The possibility of activation of the Wnt signaling pathway was suspected, because of a defective turnover of the β-catenin protein. Postoperatively, the patient was treated with both systemic and intra-abdominal adjuvant chemotherapy, including oxaliplatin. Between 18 and 24 months after diagnosis, intra-abdominal tumor recurrences were detected. The patient underwent bilateral oophorectomies for Krukenberg tumors and received salvage chemotherapy. Recently, additional recurrent metastatic retroperitoneal disease caused hydronephrosis. The retroperitoneal mass was debulked and a ureteric stent was placed. At the time of this writing, 43 months after diagnosis, the patient is receiving FOLFOX chemotherapy combined with panitumumab. CRC of childhood is exceedingly rare, generally develops in the setting of unrecognized genetic predisposing factors to cancer, presents with advanced disease, is high grade, and tends to have dismal prognosis.

Barzi A, Sadeghi S, Kattan MW, Meropol NJ
Comparative effectiveness of screening strategies for Lynch syndrome.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(4) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Approximately 3% of colorectal cancers are associated with Lynch Syndrome. Controversy exists regarding the optimal screening strategy for Lynch Syndrome.
METHODS: Using an individual level microsimulation of a population affected by Lynch syndrome over several years, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of 21 screening strategies were compared. Modeling assumptions were based upon published literature, and sensitivity analyses were performed for key assumptions. In a two-step process, the number of Lynch syndrome diagnoses (Step 1) and life-years gained as a result of foreknowledge of Lynch syndrome in otherwise healthy carriers (Step 2) were measured.
RESULTS: The optimal strategy was sequential screening for probands starting with a predictive model, then immunohistochemistry for mismatch repair protein expression (IHC), followed by germline mutation testing (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio [ICER] of $35 143 per life-year gained). The strategies of IHC + BRAF, germline testing and universal germline testing of colon cancer probands had ICERs of $144 117 and $996 878, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: This analysis suggests that the initial step in screening for Lynch Syndrome should be the use of predictive models in probands. Universal tumor testing and general population screening strategies are not cost-effective. When family history is unavailable, alternate strategies are appropriate. Documentation of family history and screening for Lynch Syndrome using a predictive model may be considered a quality-of-care measure for patients with colorectal cancer.

Kalady MF, Kravochuck SE, Heald B, et al.
Defining the adenoma burden in lynch syndrome.
Dis Colon Rectum. 2015; 58(4):388-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with 10 or more lifetime adenomas are candidates for genetic counseling and testing for polyposis syndromes. Lynch syndrome falls under the umbrella of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, and it is assumed that patients with Lynch syndrome do not develop multiple adenomas.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to document the number of adenomas in patients with Lynch syndrome.
DESIGN: This was a retrospective review of clinical, colonoscopy, and pathology records of patients with Lynch syndrome in a prospectively maintained hereditary colorectal cancer database.
SETTINGS: The study was conducted at a single-institution tertiary care center with specialized practice in hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes.
PATIENTS: We included 263 patients with a germline mutation in 1 of the 4 DNA mismatch repair genes.
INTERVENTIONS: Colonoscopy and polypectomy were the study interventions.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The lifetime cumulative number of colorectal adenomas and their characteristics were measured.
RESULTS: A total of 107 of the 263 patients had 1 or more adenomas. Sixty-one patients had 1 adenoma, 29 (11%) had 2 to 5 adenomas, 6 (2%) had 6 to 9 adenomas, and 11 patients (4%) had 10 or more cumulative adenomas. The maximum number of synchronous adenomas in any individual was 22, and the maximum number of cumulative adenomas in any individual was 24. Twenty-four of the 107 patients with adenomas underwent a total colectomy or proctocolectomy and were excluded from long-term follow-up. In the remaining 83 patients with adenomas, 426 colonoscopies were performed. A total of 220 (54%) were normal or had hyperplastic polyps; 313 adenomas were found in 206 examinations (46%), and 123 (39%) of the adenomas were advanced.
LIMITATIONS: There was variability in the interval of colonoscopy surveillance. Some patients had a variant of unknown significance and were separated from those with a deleterious mutation.
CONCLUSIONS: Although 10 or more adenomas prompt testing for polyposis syndromes, Lynch syndrome should also be considered in the differential diagnosis.

Cini G, Carnevali I, Quaia M, et al.
Concomitant mutation and epimutation of the MLH1 gene in a Lynch syndrome family.
Carcinogenesis. 2015; 36(4):452-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lynch syndrome (LS) is an inherited predisposition cancer syndrome, typically caused by germline mutations in the mismatch repair genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2. In the last years, a role for epimutations of the same genes has also been reported. MLH1 promoter methylation is a well known mechanism of somatic inactivation in tumors, and more recently, several cases of constitutional methylation have been identified. In four subjects affected by multiple tumors and belonging to a suspected LS family, we detected a novel secondary MLH1 gene epimutation. The methylation of MLH1 promoter was always linked in cis with a 997 bp-deletion (c.-168_c.116+713del), that removed exon 1 and partially involved the promoter of the same gene. Differently from cases with constitutional primary MLH1 inactivation, this secondary methylation was allele-specific and CpGs of the residual promoter region were totally methylated, leading to complete allele silencing. In the colon tumor of the proband, MLH1 and PMS2 expression was completely lost as a consequence of a pathogenic somatic point mutation (MLH1 c.199G>A, p.Gly67Arg) that also abrogated local methylation by destroying a CpG site. The evidences obtained highlight how MLH1 mutations and epimutations can reciprocally influence each other and suggest that an altered structure of the MLH1 locus results in epigenetic alteration.

Moy AP, Shahid M, Ferrone CR, et al.
Microsatellite instability in gallbladder carcinoma.
Virchows Arch. 2015; 466(4):393-402 [PubMed] Related Publications
The genetic abnormalities involved in the pathogenesis of gallbladder carcinoma (GBC) remain unclear. Microsatellite instability (MSI) has been described in many carcinomas, but little is known about the significance of mismatch repair in gallbladder carcinogenesis. Additionally, methylation status of long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1), a surrogate marker of global DNA methylation, has defined distinct subsets of other cancer types but has not been explored in GBC. Immunohistochemical expression of MSH2, MSH6, MLH1, and PMS2 and LINE-1 mRNA in situ hybridization was evaluated in 67 primary and 15 metastatic GBCs from 77 patients. Amplification of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) was evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Genotyping for 24 genes involved in carcinogenesis was performed using a multiplex PCR-based platform. MSI was present in 6 of 77 GBCs (7.8 %). Loss of MSH2/MSH6 was detected in five cases and loss of MLH1/PMS2 in one case. MSI status was not associated with Lynch syndrome, tumor grade, extracellular mucin, or tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. There was no significant difference in mean overall survival of patients with and without MSI. Strong LINE-1 staining was identified in none of the GBC with MSI and in 36 of 69 (52 %) of those without MSI (p = 0.005), suggesting that LINE-1 in the former cohort was hypermethylated. All MSI tumors were negative for HER2 amplification, and TP53 and NRAS mutations were only found in GBC without MSI. MSI was identified in a minority of GBC cases. The strong correlation between global DNA methylation as measured by LINE-1 and loss of mismatch repair proteins suggests that methylation may account for the loss of these proteins. These hypermethylated tumors appear to represent a genetically unique cohort of gallbladder neoplasms, and the data suggests that demethylating agents may have a therapeutic value in this class of tumors.

Niskakoski A, Kaur S, Staff S, et al.
Epigenetic analysis of sporadic and Lynch-associated ovarian cancers reveals histology-specific patterns of DNA methylation.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(12):1577-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
Diagnosis and treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer is challenging due to the poor understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease. Our aim was to investigate epigenetic mechanisms in ovarian tumorigenesis and, especially, whether tumors with different histological subtypes or hereditary background (Lynch syndrome) exhibit differential susceptibility to epigenetic inactivation of growth regulatory genes. Gene candidates for epigenetic regulation were identified from the literature and by expression profiling of ovarian and endometrial cancer cell lines treated with demethylating agents. Thirteen genes were chosen for methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assays on 104 (85 sporadic and 19 Lynch syndrome-associated) ovarian carcinomas. Increased methylation (i.e., hypermethylation) of variable degree was characteristic of ovarian carcinomas relative to the corresponding normal tissues, and hypermethylation was consistently more prominent in non-serous than serous tumors for individual genes and gene sets investigated. Lynch syndrome-associated clear cell carcinomas showed the highest frequencies of hypermethylation. Among endometrioid ovarian carcinomas, lower levels of promoter methylation of RSK4, SPARC, and HOXA9 were significantly associated with higher tumor grade; thus, the methylation patterns showed a shift to the direction of high-grade serous tumors. In conclusion, we provide evidence of a frequent epigenetic inactivation of RSK4, SPARC, PROM1, HOXA10, HOXA9, WT1-AS, SFRP2, SFRP5, OPCML, and MIR34B in the development of non-serous ovarian carcinomas of Lynch and sporadic origin, as compared to serous tumors. Our findings shed light on the role of epigenetic mechanisms in ovarian tumorigenesis and identify potential targets for translational applications.

Rahmi G, Lecomte T, Malka D, et al.
Impact of chromoscopy on adenoma detection in patients with Lynch syndrome: a prospective, multicenter, blinded, tandem colonoscopy study.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2015; 110(2):288-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: In Lynch syndrome, flat and diminutive adenomas are particularly prone to malignant transformation, but they can be missed by standard colonoscopy. It is not known whether chromocolonoscopy is able to detect more adenomas than standard colonoscopy in patients with Lynch syndrome.
METHODS: We conducted a prospective, multicenter, randomized trial to compare standard colonoscopy with standard colonoscopy followed by pancolonic chromoscopy with indigo carmine in patients with a proven germline mutation in a mismatch-repair gene related to Lynch syndrome and who were undergoing screening or surveillance colonoscopy. Standard colonoscopy was used first to detect visible lesions. Colonoscopy with chromoscopy was then performed by a second gastroenterologist (blinded to the findings of the first colonoscopy) to detect additional lesions. The primary end point was the number of patients in whom at least one adenoma was detected.
RESULTS: A total of 78 eligible patients (median age, 45 years) were enrolled at 10 centers from July 2008 to August 2009. Significantly more patients with at least one adenoma were identified by chromocolonoscopy (32/78 (41%)) than by standard colonoscopy (18/78 (23%); P<0.001). The percentage of patients in whom at least one additional adenoma was detected during the chromoscopy was 31% (24/78). Overall, chromocolonoscopy plus colonoscopy detected a total of 55 adenomas in 32 patients (mean number of adenomas detected per patient: 0.7 vs. standard colonoscopy alone: 0.3; P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: The results support the proposition that chromocolonoscopy may significantly improve the detection rate of colorectal adenomas in patients undergoing screening or surveillance colonoscopy for Lynch syndrome.

Vasen HF, Tomlinson I, Castells A
Clinical management of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes.
Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015; 12(2):88-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hereditary factors are involved in the development of a substantial proportion of all cases of colorectal cancer. Inherited forms of colorectal cancer are usually subdivided into polyposis syndromes characterized by the development of multiple colorectal polyps and nonpolyposis syndromes characterized by the development of few or no polyps. Timely identification of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes is vital because patient participation in early detection programmes prevents premature death due to cancer. Polyposis syndromes are fairly easy to recognize, but some patients might have characteristics that overlap with other clinically defined syndromes. Comprehensive analysis of the genes known to be associated with polyposis syndromes helps to establish the final diagnosis in these patients. Recognizing Lynch syndrome is more difficult than other polyposis syndromes owing to the absence of pathognomonic features. Most investigators therefore recommend performing systematic molecular analysis of all newly diagnosed colorectal cancer using immunohistochemical methods. The implementation in clinical practice of new high-throughput methods for molecular analysis might further increase the identification of individuals at risk of hereditary colorectal cancer. This Review describes the clinical management of the various hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes and demonstrates the advantage of using a classification based on the underlying gene defects.

Chubb D, Broderick P, Frampton M, et al.
Genetic diagnosis of high-penetrance susceptibility for colorectal cancer (CRC) is achievable for a high proportion of familial CRC by exome sequencing.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(5):426-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Knowledge of the contribution of high-penetrance susceptibility to familial colorectal cancer (CRC) is relevant to the counseling, treatment, and surveillance of CRC patients and families.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: To quantify the impact of germline mutation to familial CRC, we sequenced the mismatch repair genes (MMR) APC, MUTYH, and SMAD4/BMPR1A in 626 early-onset familial CRC cases ascertained through a population-based United Kingdom national registry. In addition, we evaluated the contribution of mutations in the exonuclease domain (exodom) of POLE and POLD1 genes that have recently been reported to confer CRC risk.
RESULTS: Overall mutations (pathogenic, likely pathogenic) in MMR genes make the highest contribution to familial CRC (10.9%). Mutations in the other established CRC genes account for 3.3% of cases. POLE/POLD1 exodom mutations were identified in three patients with family histories consistent with dominant transmission of CRC. Collectively, mutations in the known genes account for 14.2% of familial CRC (89 of 626 cases; 95% CI = 11.5, 17.2).
CONCLUSION: A genetic diagnosis is feasible in a high proportion of familial CRC. Mainstreaming such analysis in clinical practice should enable the medical management of patients and their families to be optimized. Findings suggest CRC screening of POLE and POLD1 mutation carriers should be comparable to that afforded to those at risk of HNPCC. Although the risk of CRC associated with unexplained familial CRC is in general moderate, in some families the risk is substantive and likely to be the consequence of unidentified genes, as exemplified by POLE and POLD1. Our findings have utility in the design of genetic analyses to identify such novel CRC risk genes.

Moreira L, Muñoz J, Cuatrecasas M, et al.
Prevalence of somatic mutl homolog 1 promoter hypermethylation in Lynch syndrome colorectal cancer.
Cancer. 2015; 121(9):1395-404 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancers (CRCs) that have microsatellite instability (MSI) and mutL homolog 1 (MLH1) immunoloss are observed in 3 clinical scenarios: Lynch syndrome (LS), sporadic MSI CRC, and Lynch-like syndrome (LLS). v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) mutational analysis is used to differentiate LS from sporadic MSI CRC. The role of MLH1 promoter methylation status for the differential diagnosis of these clinical forms is not well established. The objectives of this study were: 1) to analyze MLH1 promoter methylation in MLH1-deficient CRCs by pyrosequencing, and 2) to assess its role in the differential diagnosis of MLH1-deficient CRCs.
METHODS: In total, 165 CRCs were analyzed, including LS (n = 19), MSI BRAF-mutated CRC (n = 37), MSI BRAF wild-type CRC (n = 60), and a control group of CRCs without MSI (microsatellite stable [MSS] CRC; n = 49). MLH1 promoter methylation status was analyzed by pyrosequencing, and the ability of different strategies to identify LS was assessed.
RESULTS: The average ± standard deviation methylation in LS (9% ± 7%) was significantly lower than that in MSI BRAF-mutated CRC (42% ± 17%; P < .001) and in MSI BRAF wild-type CRC (25% ± 19%; P = .002). Somatic MLH1 hypermethylation was detected in 3 patients (15.8%) with LS, in 34 patients (91.9%) with MSI BRAF-mutated CRC, and in 37 patients (61.7%) with MSI BRAF wild-type tumors. Patients with MSI BRAF wild-type, unmethylated tumors (ie, LLS) had a stronger family history of CRC than those who had tumors with MLH1 methylation (P < .05). The sensitivity for ruling out LS was 100% for BRAF analysis, 84.2% for MLH1 methylation analysis, and 84.2% for the combination of both analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: Somatic MLH1 promoter methylation occurs in up to 15% of LS CRCs. Somatic BRAF analysis is the most sensitive strategy for ruling out LS. Patients who have CRCs with loss of MLH1 protein expression and neither BRAF mutation nor MLH1 methylation resemble patients with LS.

Jenkins MA, Dowty JG, Ait Ouakrim D, et al.
Short-term risk of colorectal cancer in individuals with lynch syndrome: a meta-analysis.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(4):326-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: For carriers of germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair genes, the most relevant statistic for cancer prevention is colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome) risk, particularly in the short term.
METHODS: We conducted a meta-analysis of all independent published Lynch syndrome studies reporting age- and sex-dependent colorectal cancer risks. We estimated 5-year colorectal cancer risk over different age groups, separately for male and female mutation carriers, and number needed to screen to prevent one death.
RESULTS: We pooled estimates from analyses of 1,114 Lynch syndrome families (508 with MLH1 mutations and 606 with MSH2 mutations). On average, one in 71 male and one in 102 female MLH1 or MSH2 mutation carriers in their 20s will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the next 5 years. These colorectal cancer risks increase with age, peaking in the 50s (one in seven males and one in 12 females), and then decrease with age (one in 13 males and one in 19 females in their 70s). Annual colonoscopy in 16 males or 25 females in their 50s would prevent one death from colorectal cancer over 5 years while resulting in almost no serious complications. In comparison, annual colonoscopy in 155 males or 217 females in their 20s would prevent one death while resulting in approximately one serious complication.
CONCLUSION: For MLH1 or MSH2 mutation carriers, current guidelines recommend colonoscopy every 1 to 2 years starting in their 20s. Our findings support this regimen from age 30 years; however, it might not be justifiable for carriers who are in their 20s.

Spier I, Holzapfel S, Altmüller J, et al.
Frequency and phenotypic spectrum of germline mutations in POLE and seven other polymerase genes in 266 patients with colorectal adenomas and carcinomas.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(2):320-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
In a number of families with colorectal adenomatous polyposis or suspected Lynch syndrome/HNPCC, no germline alteration in the APC, MUTYH, or mismatch repair (MMR) genes are found. Missense mutations in the polymerase genes POLE and POLD1 have recently been identified as rare cause of multiple colorectal adenomas and carcinomas, a condition termed polymerase proofreading-associated polyposis (PPAP). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical relevance and phenotypic spectrum of polymerase germline mutations. Therefore, targeted sequencing of the polymerase genes POLD1, POLD2, POLD3, POLD4, POLE, POLE2, POLE3 and POLE4 was performed in 266 unrelated patients with polyposis or fulfilled Amsterdam criteria. The POLE mutation c.1270C>G;p.Leu424Val was detected in four unrelated patients. The mutation was present in 1.5% (4/266) of all patients, 4% (3/77) of all familial cases and 7% (2/30) of familial polyposis cases. The colorectal phenotype in 14 affected individuals ranged from typical adenomatous polyposis to a HNPCC phenotype, with high intrafamilial variability. Multiple colorectal carcinomas and duodenal adenomas were common, and one case of duodenal carcinoma was reported. Additionally, various extraintestinal lesions were evident. Nine further putative pathogenic variants were identified. The most promising was c.1306C>T;p.Pro436Ser in POLE. In conclusion, a PPAP was identified in a substantial number of polyposis and familial colorectal cancer patients. Screening for polymerase proofreading mutations should therefore be considered, particularly in unexplained familial cases. The present study broadens the phenotypic spectrum of PPAP to duodenal adenomas and carcinomas, and identified novel, potentially pathogenic variants in four polymerase genes.

Xiong HY, Alipanahi B, Lee LJ, et al.
RNA splicing. The human splicing code reveals new insights into the genetic determinants of disease.
Science. 2015; 347(6218):1254806 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/01/2016 Related Publications
To facilitate precision medicine and whole-genome annotation, we developed a machine-learning technique that scores how strongly genetic variants affect RNA splicing, whose alteration contributes to many diseases. Analysis of more than 650,000 intronic and exonic variants revealed widespread patterns of mutation-driven aberrant splicing. Intronic disease mutations that are more than 30 nucleotides from any splice site alter splicing nine times as often as common variants, and missense exonic disease mutations that have the least impact on protein function are five times as likely as others to alter splicing. We detected tens of thousands of disease-causing mutations, including those involved in cancers and spinal muscular atrophy. Examination of intronic and exonic variants found using whole-genome sequencing of individuals with autism revealed misspliced genes with neurodevelopmental phenotypes. Our approach provides evidence for causal variants and should enable new discoveries in precision medicine.

ten Broeke SW, Brohet RM, Tops CM, et al.
Lynch syndrome caused by germline PMS2 mutations: delineating the cancer risk.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(4):319-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The clinical consequences of PMS2 germline mutations are poorly understood compared with other Lynch-associated mismatch repair gene (MMR) mutations. The aim of this European cohort study was to define the cancer risk faced by PMS2 mutation carriers.
METHODS: Data were collected from 98 PMS2 families ascertained from family cancer clinics that included a total of 2,548 family members and 377 proven mutation carriers. To adjust for potential ascertainment bias, a modified segregation analysis model was used to calculate colorectal cancer (CRC) and endometrial cancer (EC) risks. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated to estimate risks for other Lynch syndrome-associated cancers.
RESULTS: The cumulative risk (CR) of CRC for male mutation carriers by age 70 years was 19%. The CR among female carriers was 11% for CRC and 12% for EC. The mean age of CRC development was 52 years, and there was a significant difference in mean age of CRC between the probands (mean, 47 years; range, 26 to 68 years) and other family members with a PMS2 mutation (mean, 58 years; range, 31 to 86 years; P < .001). Significant SIRs were observed for cancers of the small bowel, ovaries, breast, and renal pelvis.
CONCLUSION: CRC and EC risks were found to be markedly lower than those previously reported for the other MMR. However, these risks embody the isolated risk of carrying a PMS2 mutation, and it should be noted that we observed a substantial variation in cancer phenotype within and between families, suggesting the influence of genetic modifiers and lifestyle factors on cancer risks.

Ko JC, Chiu HC, Syu JJ, et al.
Down-regulation of MSH2 expression by Hsp90 inhibition enhances cytotoxicity affected by tamoxifen in human lung cancer cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 456(1):506-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
The anti-estrogen tamoxifen has been used worldwide as an adjuvant hormone therapeutic agent in the treatment of breast cancer. However, the molecular mechanism of tamoxifen-induced cytotoxicity in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells has not been identified. Human MutS homolog 2 (MSH2), a crucial element of the highly conserved DNA mismatch repair system, and expression of MSH2 have been down-regulated by Hsp90 function inhibition in human lung cancer. Therefore, in this study, we examined whether MSH2 plays a role in the tamoxifen and Hsp90 inhibitor-induced cytotoxic effect on NSCLC cells. The results showed that treatment with tamoxifen increased MSH2 mRNA and protein levels. The combination treatment with PI3K inhibitors (LY294002 or wortmannin) or knockdown AKT expression by specific small interfering RNA could decrease tamoxifen-induced MSH2 expression. Both knocking down MSH2 expression and co-treatment of PI3K inhibitors enhanced the cytotoxicity and cell growth inhibition of tamoxifen. Compared to a single agent alone, tamoxifen combined with an Hsp90 inhibitor resulted in cytotoxicity and cell growth inhibition synergistically in NSCLC cells, accompanied with reduced MSH2 expression. These findings may have implications for the rational design of future drug regimens incorporating tamoxifen and Hsp90 inhibitors for the treatment of NSCLC.

Grant RC, Selander I, Connor AA, et al.
Prevalence of germline mutations in cancer predisposition genes in patients with pancreatic cancer.
Gastroenterology. 2015; 148(3):556-64 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: We investigated the prevalence of germline mutations in APC, ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDKN2A, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PALB2, PMS2, PRSS1, STK11, and TP53 in patients with pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: The Ontario Pancreas Cancer Study enrolls consenting participants with pancreatic cancer from a province-wide electronic pathology database; 708 probands were enrolled from April 2003 through August 2012. To improve the precision of BRCA2 prevalence estimates, 290 probands were selected from 3 strata, based on family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, or neither. Germline DNA was analyzed by next-generation sequencing using a custom multiple-gene panel. Mutation prevalence estimates were calculated from the sample for the entire cohort.
RESULTS: Eleven pathogenic mutations were identified: 3 in ATM, 1 in BRCA1, 2 in BRCA2, 1 in MLH1, 2 in MSH2, 1 in MSH6, and 1 in TP53. The prevalence of mutations in all 13 genes was 3.8% (95% confidence interval, 2.1%-5.6%). Carrier status was associated significantly with breast cancer in the proband or first-degree relative (P < .01), and with colorectal cancer in the proband or first-degree relative (P < .01), but not family history of pancreatic cancer, age at diagnosis, or stage at diagnosis. Of patients with a personal or family history of breast and colorectal cancer, 10.7% (95% confidence interval, 4.4%-17.0%) and 11.1% (95% confidence interval, 3.0%-19.1%) carried pathogenic mutations, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: A small but clinically important proportion of pancreatic cancer is associated with mutations in known predisposition genes. The heterogeneity of mutations identified in this study shows the value of using a multiple-gene panel in pancreatic cancer.

Hinrichsen I, Schäfer D, Langer D, et al.
Functional testing strategy for coding genetic variants of unclear significance in MLH1 in Lynch syndrome diagnosis.
Carcinogenesis. 2015; 36(2):202-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lynch syndrome is caused by inactivating mutations in the MLH1 gene, but genetic variants of unclear significance frequently preclude diagnosis. Functional testing can reveal variant-conferred defects in gene or protein function. Based on functional defect frequencies and clinical applicability of test systems, we developed a functional testing strategy aimed at efficiently detecting pathogenic defects in coding MLH1 variants. In this strategy, tests of repair activity and expression are prioritized over analyses of subcellular protein localization and messenger RNA (mRNA) formation. This strategy was used for four unclear coding MLH1 variants (p.Asp41His, p.Leu507Phe, p.Gln689Arg, p.Glu605del + p.Val716Met). Expression was analyzed using a transfection system, mismatch repair (MMR) activity by complementation in vitro, mRNA formation by reverse transcriptase-PCR in carrier lymphocyte mRNA, and subcellular localization with dye-labeled fusion constructs. All tests included clinically meaningful controls. The strategy enabled efficient identification of defects in two unclear variants: the p.Asp41His variant showed loss of MMR activity, whereas the compound variant p.Glu605del + p.Val716Met had a defect of expression. This expression defect was significantly stronger than the pathogenic expression reference variant analyzed in parallel, therefore the defect of the compound variant is also pathogenic. Interestingly, the expression defect was caused additively by both of the compound variants, at least one of which is non-pathogenic when occurring by itself. Tests were neutral for p.Leu507Phe and p.Gln689Arg, and the results were consistent with available clinical data. We finally discuss the improved sensitivity and efficiency of the applied strategy and its limitations in analyzing unclear coding MLH1 variants.

Sahnane N, Furlan D, Monti M, et al.
Microsatellite unstable gastrointestinal neuroendocrine carcinomas: a new clinicopathologic entity.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2015; 22(1):35-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs) and mixed adenoneuroendocrine carcinomas (MANECs) are heterogeneous neoplasms characterized by poor outcome. Microsatellite instability (MSI) has recently been found in colorectal NECs showing a better prognosis than expected. However, the frequency of MSI in a large series of GEP-NEC/MANECs is still unknown. In this work, we investigated the incidence of MSI in GEP-NEC/MANECs and characterized their clinicopathologic and molecular features. MSI analysis and immunohistochemistry for mismatch repair proteins (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2) were performed in 89 GEP-NEC/MANECs (six esophageal, 77 gastrointestinal, three pancreatic, and three of the gallbladder). Methylation of 34 genes was studied by methylation-specific multiplex ligation probe amplification. Mutation analysis of BRAF and KRAS was assessed by PCR-pyrosequencing analysis. MSI was observed in 11 NEC/MANECs (12.4%): seven intestinal and four gastric. All but two MSI-cases showed MLH1 methylation and loss of MLH1 protein. The remaining two MSI-cancers showed lack of MSH2 or PMS2 immunohistochemical expression. MSI-NEC/MANECs showed higher methylation levels than microsatellite stable NEC/MANECs (40.6% vs 20.2% methylated genes respectively, P<0.001). BRAF mutation was detected in six out of 88 cases (7%) and KRAS mutation was identified in 15 cases (17%). BRAF mutation was associated with MSI (P<0.0008), while KRAS status did not correlate with any clinicopathologic or molecular feature. Vascular invasion (P=0.0003) and MSI (P=0.0084) were identified as the only independent prognostic factors in multivariate analysis. We conclude that MSI identifies a subset of gastric and intestinal NEC/MANECs with distinct biology and better prognosis. MSI-NEC/MANECs resemble MSI-gastrointestinal adenocarcinomas for frequency, molecular profile and pathogenetic mechanisms.

Crucianelli F, Tricarico R, Turchetti D, et al.
MLH1 constitutional and somatic methylation in patients with MLH1 negative tumors fulfilling the revised Bethesda criteria.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(10):1431-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lynch syndrome (LS) is a tumor predisposing condition caused by constitutional defects in genes coding for components of the mismatch repair (MMR) apparatus. While hypermethylation of the promoter of the MMR gene MLH1 occurs in about 15% of colorectal cancer samples, it has also been observed as a constitutional alteration, in the absence of DNA sequence mutations, in a small number of LS patients. In order to obtain further insights on the phenotypic characteristics of MLH1 epimutation carriers, we investigated the somatic and constitutional MLH1 methylation status of 14 unrelated subjects with a suspicion of LS who were negative for MMR gene constitutional mutations and whose tumors did not express the MLH1 protein. A novel case of constitutional MLH1 epimutation was identified. This patient was affected with multiple primary tumors, including breast cancer, diagnosed starting from the age of 55 y. Investigation of her offspring by allele specific expression revealed that the epimutation was not stable across generations. We also found MLH1 hypermethylation in cancer samples from 4 additional patients who did not have evidence of constitutional defects. These patients had some characteristics of LS, namely early age at onset and/or positive family history, raising the possibility of genetic influences in the establishment of somatic MLH1 methylation.

Bhaijee F, Brown AS
Muir-Torre syndrome.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2014; 138(12):1685-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Muir-Torre syndrome (MTS) is a rare autosomal-dominant genodermatosis characterized by sebaceous neoplasms and one or more visceral malignancies. Sebaceous tumors include sebaceous adenoma and carcinoma, which may be solitary or multiple. Visceral malignancies most often arise in the colorectum and endometrium. Because a subset of patients with phenotypic MTS will have germline mutations in the DNA mismatch repair genes hMSH2 and hMLH1, MTS is considered a phenotypic subtype of Lynch syndrome (also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome), in which inherited defects in DNA mismatch repair genes result in microsatellite instability. Pathologists have an important role in the early detection and initial diagnosis of MTS: identification of at-risk individuals allows appropriate screening and surveillance for visceral malignancies, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality. Herein, we describe the clinicopathologic features of MTS.

Yamaguchi T, Furukawa Y, Nakamura Y, et al.
Comparison of clinical features between suspected familial colorectal cancer type X and Lynch syndrome in Japanese patients with colorectal cancer: a cross-sectional study conducted by the Japanese Society for Cancer of the Colon and Rectum.
Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2015; 45(2):153-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The characteristics of familial colorectal cancer type X are poorly defined. Here we aimed to clarify the differences in clinical features between suspected familial colorectal cancer type X and Lynch syndrome in Japanese patients.
METHODS: We performed germline mutation analyses of mismatch repair genes in 125 patients. Patients who met the Amsterdam Criteria I but lacked mismatch repair gene mutations were diagnosed with suspected familial colorectal cancer type X.
RESULTS: We identified 69 patients with Lynch syndrome and 25 with suspected familial colorectal cancer type X. The frequencies of gastric and extracolonic Lynch syndrome-associated cancers were lower with suspected familial colorectal cancer type X than with Lynch syndrome. The number of organs with Lynch syndrome-associated cancer was significantly lower with suspected familial colorectal cancer type X than with Lynch syndrome. The cumulative incidence of extracolonic Lynch syndrome-associated cancer was significantly lower with suspected familial colorectal cancer type X than with Lynch syndrome. We estimated that the median cancer risk in 60-year-old patients with Lynch syndrome was 89, 36 and 24% for colorectal, endometrial and gastric cancers, respectively. Analyses of family members, including probands, revealed that the median age at diagnosis of extracolonic Lynch syndrome-associated cancer was significantly older with suspected familial colorectal cancer type X than with Lynch syndrome. The frequency of extracolonic Lynch syndrome-associated cancer was significantly lower with suspected familial colorectal cancer type X than with Lynch syndrome.
CONCLUSION: A significant difference in extracolonic Lynch syndrome-associated cancer was evident between suspected familial colorectal cancer type X and Lynch syndrome.

Moir-Meyer GL, Pearson JF, Lose F, et al.
Rare germline copy number deletions of likely functional importance are implicated in endometrial cancer predisposition.
Hum Genet. 2015; 134(3):269-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endometrial cancer is the most common invasive gynaecological cancer in women, and relatively little is known about inherited risk factors for this disease. This is the first genome-wide study to explore the role of common and rare germline copy number variants (CNVs) in predisposition to endometrial cancer. CNVs were called from germline DNA of 1,209 endometrioid endometrial cancer cases and 528 cancer-unaffected female controls. Overall CNV load of deletions or DNA gains did not differ significantly between cases and controls (P > 0.05), but cases presented with an excess of rare germline deletions overlapping likely functional genomic regions including genes (P = 8 × 10(-10)), CpG islands (P = 1 × 10(-7)) and sno/miRNAs regions (P = 3 × 10(-9)). On average, at least one additional gene and two additional CpG islands were disrupted by rare deletions in cases compared to controls. The most pronounced difference was that over 30 sno/miRNAs were disrupted by rare deletions in cases for every single disruption event in controls. A total of 13 DNA repair genes were disrupted by rare deletions in 19/1,209 cases (1.6%) compared to one gene in 1/528 controls (0.2%; P = 0.007), and this increased DNA repair gene loss in cases persisted after excluding five individuals carrying CNVs disrupting mismatch repair genes MLH1, MSH2 and MSH6 (P = 0.03). There were 34 miRNA regions deleted in at least one case but not in controls, the most frequent of which encompassed hsa-mir-661 and hsa-mir-203. Our study implicates rare germline deletions of functional and regulatory regions as possible mechanisms conferring endometrial cancer risk, and has identified specific regulatory elements as candidates for further investigation.

Ye J, Zhou Y, Weiser MR, et al.
Immunohistochemical detection of ARID1A in colorectal carcinoma: loss of staining is associated with sporadic microsatellite unstable tumors with medullary histology and high TNM stage.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(12):2430-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
AT-rich interactive domain-containing protein 1A (ARID1A), a chromatin remodeling gene recently discovered to be a tumor suppressor in ovarian cancers, has been found to be mutated at low frequencies in many other tumors including colorectal carcinoma (CRC). An association between ARID1A alteration and DNA mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency has been implicated; understanding this association may facilitate the understanding of the role of ARID1A in the various tumors. In this pilot study, we analyzed the immunohistochemical expression of ARID1A in a consecutive series of 257 CRCs that fulfilled a set of relaxed criteria for Lynch syndrome screening; 59 (23%) were MMR deficient by immunohistochemistry (44 MLH1/PMS2 deficient, 9 MSH2/MSH6 deficient, 4 MSH6 deficient, and 2 PMS2 deficient). ARID1A loss was observed in 9% (22/257) of the cohort: 24% of MMR-deficient tumors (14/59, 13 of the 14 being MLH1/PMS2 deficient) and 4% of MMR-normal tumors (8/198) (P < .05). MLH1 (mutL homolog 1) promoter hypermethylation was observed in 10 of the 13 MLH1/PMS2-deficient/ARID1A-loss tumors, indicating an association between ARID1A loss and sporadic microsatellite unstable CRCs. Among the MMR-deficient cases, ARID1A loss correlated with old age (P = .04), poor tumor differentiation (P < .01), medullary histology (P < .01), and an increased rate of nodal and distant metastasis (P = .03); these patients also trended toward a worse 5-year overall survival. Among MMR-normal tumors, no differences in clinicopathological features were detected between the groups stratified by ARID1A. In conclusion, our results suggest that ARID1A loss may be linked to a specific subset of sporadic microsatellite unstable CRCs that may be medullary but is more likely to present with metastatic disease, warranting further investigation.

Sinicrope FA, Shi Q, Smyrk TC, et al.
Molecular markers identify subtypes of stage III colon cancer associated with patient outcomes.
Gastroenterology. 2015; 148(1):88-99 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Categorization of colon cancers into distinct subtypes using a combination of pathway-based biomarkers could provide insight into stage-independent variability in outcomes.
METHODS: We used a polymerase chain reaction-based assay to detect mutations in BRAF (V600E) and in KRAS in 2720 stage III cancer samples, collected prospectively from patients participating in an adjuvant chemotherapy trial (NCCTG N0147). Tumors deficient or proficient in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) were identified based on detection of MLH1, MSH2, and MSH6 proteins and methylation of the MLH1 promoter. Findings were validated using tumor samples from a separate set of patients with stage III cancer (n = 783). Association with 5-year disease-free survival was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards models.
RESULTS: Tumors were categorized into 5 subtypes based on MMR status and detection of BRAF or KRAS mutations which were mutually exclusive. Three subtypes were MMR proficient: those with mutations in BRAF (6.9% of samples), mutations in KRAS (35%), or tumors lacking either BRAF or KRAS mutations (49%). Two subtypes were MMR deficient: the sporadic type (6.8%) with BRAF mutation and/or or hypermethylation of MLH1 and the familial type (2.6%), which lacked BRAF(V600E) or hypermethylation of MLH1. A higher percentage of MMR-proficient tumors with BRAF(V600E) were proximal (76%), high-grade (44%), N2 stage (59%), and detected in women (59%), compared with MMR-proficient tumors without BRAF(V600E) or KRAS mutations (33%, 19%, 41%, and 42%, respectively; all P < .0001). A significantly lower proportion of patients with MMR-proficient tumors with mutant BRAF (hazard ratio = 1.43; 95% confidence interval: 1.11-1.85; Padjusted = .0065) or mutant KRAS (hazard ratio = 1.48; 95% confidence interval: 1.27-1.74; Padjusted < .0001) survived disease-free for 5 years compared with patients whose MMR-proficient tumors lacked mutations in either gene. Disease-free survival rates of patients with MMR-deficient sporadic or familial subtypes was similar to those of patients with MMR-proficient tumors without BRAF or KRAS mutations. The observed differences in survival rates of patients with different tumor subtypes were validated in an independent cohort.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified subtypes of stage III colon cancer, based on detection of mutations in BRAF (V600E) or KRAS, and MMR status that show differences in clinical and pathologic features and disease-free survival. Patients with MMR-proficient tumors and BRAF or KRAS mutations had statistically shorter survival times than patients whose tumors lacked these mutations. The tumor subtype found in nearly half of the study cohort (MMR-proficient without BRAF(V600E) or KRAS mutations) had similar outcomes to those of patients with MMR-deficient cancers.

Newton K, Jorgensen NM, Wallace AJ, et al.
Tumour MLH1 promoter region methylation testing is an effective prescreen for Lynch Syndrome (HNPCC).
J Med Genet. 2014; 51(12):789-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Lynch syndrome (LS) patients have DNA mismatch repair deficiency and up to 80% lifetime risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Screening of mutation carriers reduces CRC incidence and mortality. Selection for constitutional mutation testing relies on family history (Amsterdam and Bethesda Guidelines) and tumour-derived biomarkers. Initial biomarker analysis uses mismatch repair protein immunohistochemistry and microsatellite instability. Abnormalities in either identify mismatch repair deficiency but do not differentiate sporadic epigenetic defects, due to MLH1 promoter region methylation (13% of CRCs) from LS (4% of CRCs). A diagnostic biomarker capable of making this distinction would be valuable. This study compared two biomarkers in tumours with mismatch repair deficiency; quantification of methylation of the MLH1 promoter region using a novel assay and BRAF c.1799T>A, p.(Val600Glu) mutation status in the identification of constitutional mutations.
METHODS: Tumour DNA was extracted (formalin fixed, paraffin embedded, FFPE tissue) and pyrosequencing used to test for MLH1 promoter methylation and presence of the BRAF c.1799T>A, p.(Val600Glu) mutation 71 CRCs from individuals with pathogenic MLH1 mutations and 73 CRCs with sporadic MLH1 loss. Specificity and sensitivity was compared.
FINDINGSS: Unmethylated MLH1 promoter: sensitivity 94.4% (95% CI 86.2% to 98.4%), specificity 87.7% (95% CI 77.9% to 94.2%), Wild-type BRAF (codon 600): sensitivity 65.8% (95% CI 53.7% to 76.5%), specificity 98.6% (95% CI 92.4% to 100.0%) for the identification of those with pathogenic MLH1 mutations.
CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative MLH1 promoter region methylation using pyrosequencing is superior to BRAF codon 600 mutation status in identifying constitutional mutations in mismatch repair deficient tumours.

Nummela P, Saarinen L, Thiel A, et al.
Genomic profile of pseudomyxoma peritonei analyzed using next-generation sequencing and immunohistochemistry.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(5):E282-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) is a relatively rare clinical syndrome characterized by neoplastic epithelial cells growing in the peritoneal cavity and secreting mucinous ascites. Our aim was to explore the molecular events behind this fatal but under-investigated disease. We extracted DNA from 19 appendix-derived PMP tumors and nine corresponding normal tissues, and analyzed the mutational hotspot areas of 48 cancer-related genes by amplicon-based next-generation sequencing (NGS). Further, we analyzed the protein expression of V600E mutated BRAF, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and p53 from a larger set of PMP tumors (n = 74) using immunohistochemistry. With NGS, we detected activating somatic KRAS mutations in all of the tumors studied. GNAS was mutated in 63% of the tumors with no marked difference between low-grade and high-grade tumors. Only one (5.3%) tumor showed oncogenic PIK3CA mutation, one showed oncogenic AKT1 mutation, three (15.8%) showed SMAD4 mutations and none showed an APC mutation. P53 protein was aberrantly expressed in higher proportion of high-grade tumors as compared with low-grade ones (31.3 vs. 7.1%, respectively; p = 0.012) and aberrant expression was an independent factor for reduced overall survival (p = 0.002). BRAF V600E mutation was only found in one (1.4%) high-grade tumor by immunohistochemistry (n = 74). All the studied tumors expressed mismatch repair proteins MLH1, MSH2 and MSH6. Our results indicate that KRAS mutations are evident in all and GNAS mutations in most of the PMPs, but BRAF V600E, PIK3CA and APC mutations are rare. Aberrantly expressed p53 is associated with high-grade histology and reduced survival.

Yong KJ, Milenic DE, Baidoo KE, Brechbiel MW
Impact of α-targeted radiation therapy on gene expression in a pre-clinical model for disseminated peritoneal disease when combined with paclitaxel.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e108511 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
To better understand the molecular basis of the enhanced cell killing effected by the combined modality of paclitaxel and ²¹²Pb-trastuzumab (Pac/²¹²Pb-trastuzumab), gene expression in LS-174T i.p. xenografts was investigated 24 h after treatment. Employing a real time quantitative PCR array (qRT-PCR array), 84 DNA damage response genes were quantified. Differentially expressed genes following therapy with Pac/²¹²Pb-trastuzumab included those involved in apoptosis (BRCA1, CIDEA, GADD45α, GADD45γ, GML, IP6K3, PCBP4, PPP1R15A, RAD21, and p73), cell cycle (BRCA1, CHK1, CHK2, GADD45α, GML, GTSE1, NBN, PCBP4, PPP1R15A, RAD9A, and SESN1), and damaged DNA repair (ATRX, BTG2, EXO1, FEN1, IGHMBP2, OGG1, MSH2, MUTYH, NBN, PRKDC, RAD21, and p73). This report demonstrates that the increased stressful growth arrest conditions induced by the Pac/²¹²Pb-trastuzumab treatment suppresses cell proliferation through the regulation of genes which are involved in apoptosis and damaged DNA repair including single and double strand DNA breaks. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that ²¹²Pb-trastuzumab potentiation of cell killing efficacy results from the perturbation of genes related to the mitotic spindle checkpoint and BASC (BRCA1-associated genome surveillance complex), suggesting cross-talk between DNA damage repair and the spindle damage response.

Snowsill T, Huxley N, Hoyle M, et al.
A systematic review and economic evaluation of diagnostic strategies for Lynch syndrome.
Health Technol Assess. 2014; 18(58):1-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lynch syndrome (LS) is an inherited autosomal dominant disorder characterised by an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and other cancers, and caused by mutations in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) mismatch repair genes.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of strategies to identify LS in newly diagnosed early-onset CRC patients (aged < 50 years). Cascade testing of relatives is employed in all strategies for individuals in whom LS is identified.
DATA SOURCES AND METHODS: Systematic reviews were conducted of the test accuracy of microsatellite instability (MSI) testing or immunohistochemistry (IHC) in individuals with CRC at risk of LS, and of economic evidence relating to diagnostic strategies for LS. Reviews were carried out in April 2012 (test accuracy); and in February 2012, repeated in February 2013 (economic evaluations). Databases searched included MEDLINE (1946 to April week 3, 2012), EMBASE (1980 to week 17, 2012) and Web of Science (inception to 30 April 2012), and risk of bias for test accuracy was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 (QUADAS-2) quality appraisal tool. A de novo economic model of diagnostic strategies for LS was developed.
RESULTS: Inconsistencies in study designs precluded pooling of diagnostic test accuracy results from a previous systematic review and nine subsequent primary studies. These were of mixed quality, with significant methodological concerns identified for most. IHC and MSI can both play a part in diagnosing LS but neither is gold standard. No UK studies evaluated the cost-effectiveness of diagnosing and managing LS, although studies from other countries generally found some strategies to be cost-effective compared with no testing. The de novo model demonstrated that all strategies were cost-effective compared with no testing at a threshold of £20,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY), with the most cost-effective strategy utilising MSI and BRAF testing [incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) = £5491 per QALY]. The maximum health benefit to the population of interest would be obtained using universal germline testing, but this would not be a cost-effective use of NHS resources compared with the next best strategy. When the age limit was raised from 50 to 60 and 70 years, the ICERs compared with no testing increased but remained below £20,000 per QALY (except for universal germline testing with an age limit of 70 years). The total net health benefit increased with the age limit as more individuals with LS were identified. Uncertainty was evaluated through univariate sensitivity analyses, which suggested that the parameters substantially affecting cost-effectiveness: were the risk of CRC for individuals with LS; the average number of relatives identified per index patient; the effectiveness of colonoscopy in preventing metachronous CRC; the cost of colonoscopy; the duration of the psychological impact of genetic testing on health-related quality of life (HRQoL); and the impact of prophylactic hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy on HRQoL (this had the potential to make all testing strategies more expensive and less effective than no testing).
LIMITATIONS: The absence of high-quality data for the impact of prophylactic gynaecological surgery and the psychological impact of genetic testing on HRQoL is an acknowledged limitation.
CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that reflex testing for LS in newly diagnosed CRC patients aged < 50 years is cost-effective. Such testing may also be cost-effective in newly diagnosed CRC patients aged < 60 or < 70 years. Results are subject to uncertainty due to a number of parameters, for some of which good estimates were not identified. We recommend future research to estimate the cost-effectiveness of testing for LS in individuals with newly diagnosed endometrial or ovarian cancer, and the inclusion of aspirin chemoprevention. Further research is required to accurately estimate the impact of interventions on HRQoL.
STUDY REGISTRATION: This study is registered as PROSPERO CRD42012002436.
FUNDING: The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.

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