Cancer risk in mismatch repair gene mutation carriers

Patrice Watson, Henry T. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

97 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Optimally accurate and valid estimates of cancer risk in genetically-defined subgroups requires population-based research. For rare genetic traits, very large studies are needed. Such is the case in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome (HNPCC), caused by mutations in mismatch repair (MMR) genes. A potentially more efficient approach is genotyped-proband design (GPD), in which probands are genotyped and the phenotypes of their relatives are investigated. However, to date most information comes from registry-based studies, where ascertainment bias makes interpretation difficult. Development in testing technology will lead to more identified mutation carriers, producing a clinical imperative to estimate risk, despite these problems. We reviewed the available results, and concluded that male mutation carriers have a lifetime colorectal cancer risk of 74% or more; female mutation carriers have a lower risk which is still many times higher than the risk in the general population. Risk is highest between the ages of 40 and 60, but considerable even before age 40. Lifetime endometrial cancer risk is 42% or more; the highest incidence is between age 40 and 60, and diagnosis before the age of 35 is rare. MMR mutation carriers are at elevated risk for ovarian, gastric, urologic tract, small bowel, hepatobiliary tract cancer, and for brain tumors. The risk of these cancer types is much lower than the risk for colorectal and endometrial cancer, but accurate, especially age-related estimates of risk are not available. Prevention strategies depend on estimates of age-specific risk. Clearly, multicenter studies to obtain such estimates are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-60
Number of pages4
JournalFamilial Cancer
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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DNA Mismatch Repair
Mutation
Genes
Neoplasms
Endometrial Neoplasms
Brain Neoplasms
Colorectal Neoplasms
Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Neoplasms
Population
Multicenter Studies
Registries
Stomach

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics

Cite this

Cancer risk in mismatch repair gene mutation carriers. / Watson, Patrice; Lynch, Henry T.

In: Familial Cancer, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2001, p. 57-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Watson, Patrice ; Lynch, Henry T. / Cancer risk in mismatch repair gene mutation carriers. In: Familial Cancer. 2001 ; Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 57-60.
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