Indexed on: 03 Mar '21Published on: 02 Mar '21Published in: Cancer Genetics
Lynch syndrome (LS), is the most common hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome. However, it is poorly characterized in Brazil. Therefore, we aimed to determine the spectrum of pathogenic variants in Mismatch Repair (MMR) genes and investigate the MLH1 promotor methylation role as a second hit in LS tumors. Tumor screening through microsatellite instability and immunohistochemistry for MMR proteins was performed in 323 cases who met clinical criteria. BRAF-V600E and MLH1 promoter methylation were analyzed for all MLH1-deficient tumors. Patients with MMR deficient tumor proceeded to germline genetic testing. MMR deficient tumors were detected in 41% of patients recruited. About half of patients carried a pathogenic germline variant. Two recurrent variants in MLH1 and three novel pathogenic variants were identified. Furthermore, pathogenic germline variants with concomitant somatic MLH1 hypermethylation were found in 6% of cases. Predictive genetic testing was offered to 387 relatives. Overall, 127 tumors were diagnosed in 100 LS patients, from 62 unrelated families. Our molecular data provide new information about the spectrum of MMR mutations, which contributes to a better characterization of LS in Brazil. Furthermore, we call attention to the possibility of failure in the diagnosis of germline MLH1 mutation carriers when somatic MLH1 hypermethylation is used to rule out LS. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.