Lynch Syndrome is a heritable genetic mutation that causes colorectal, endometrial and other cancers. A cooperative study that included the University of Colorado Cancer Center, published in this month's issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, revises the risk of colorectal cancer down but other cancers up for women with Lynch Syndrome who have had endometrial cancer.
"This new information helps patient care in two important ways. First, it helps us counsel women with Lynch Syndrome who have had endometrial cancer about the magnitude of their future cancer risk, which turns out to be about 55 percent over the 20 years after diagnosis of their endometrial cancer. Second, it helps fill in the picture of the spectrum of cancers that are associated with Lynch Syndrome, which includes not only colorectal and endometrial cancers, but kidney, ureter, renal, pelvic, urinary, bladder and breast cancers in that order as well," says Dennis J. Ahnen, MD, CU Cancer Center investigator and professor of gastroenterology at the Denver VA Medical Center, one of the paper's co-authors.
The research group, which includes member from six centers, used data from 127 women included in the Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR). Ahnen notes that the CCFR is unique among cancer registries in that it not only collects information on patients with colorectal cancer and their treatment outcomes, but also routinely performs molecular characterization of these tumors, which can show which of these cancers are associated with Lynch Syndrome or other genetic abnormalities. Importantly, this molecular categorization allows researchers to discover which of the three possible pathways led to a patient's cancer the traditional chromosomal instability pathway accounts for about 80 percent of all colorectal cancers, and Lynch Syndrome combines with an epigenetic pathway to account for the remaining 20 percent.
"Knowing a cancer's genetic makeup all
|Contact: Garth Sundem|
University of Colorado Denver