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New Mayo Clinic test targets Lynch syndrome, a risk factor for colon cancer
Date:5/18/2011

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic has developed a screening procedure that could dramatically increase testing for Lynch syndrome (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lynch-syndrome/DS00669), a hereditary genetic disorder that raises cancer risk, particularly for colorectal cancer. An estimated 3 percent of colon cancers can be attributed to Lynch syndrome. At least 80 percent of people with Lynch syndrome develop colorectal cancer (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/colon-cancer/DS00035), many of them before age 50.

In the past, as few as 50 percent of patients who fit the profile for possible Lynch syndrome were tested before or after surgery. Now, a group of Mayo Clinic researchers has developed and tested a protocol that could raise the level of testing to nearly 90 percent, helping doctors make important decisions on the timing and delivery of care for patients with the disease. Their findings were presented at The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting (http://www.fascrs.org/), May 14-18, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Mayo Clinic researchers (http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/) in 2003 started testing all newly diagnosed colorectal cancers in patients under 50. Biopsies of the cancers were sent to pathologists, who conducted Microsatellite Instability (MSI) testing on them. MSI testing looks for certain mutations in genes that repair DNA by testing 10 different DNA markers for irregularities. Patients categorized in the "high" group for microsatellite instability were offered additional testing for Lynch syndrome and genetic counseling.

Over the five-year study, 210 of 258 newly diagnosed patients under age 50 who underwent colorectal cancer surgery a
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Contact: Brian Kilen
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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