Sessile Serrated Polyps are Precursors of Colon Carcinomas With Deficient DNA Mismatch Repair

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We investigated whether sessile serrated adenomas/polyps (SSA/Ps) are direct precursors of colorectal carcinomas. We identified colon carcinomas that arose from SSA/Ps among 2646 colorectal cancers included in the surgical pathology database at the Mayo Clinic (2006–2012). Molecular features of the serrated neoplasia pathway were analyzed in these tumors by immunohistochemical analyses of mutant BRAF (V600E) and MLH1 proteins. Among the 33 identified SSA/P-associated colonic adenocarcinomas (median patient age, 75 y), 24 developed in women (73%), 31 were located in the proximal colon (94%), and 23 (69%) were TNM stage I or II. Thirty-one of the tumors (94%) expressed mutant BRAF; of these, 26 also had loss of MLH1 (79%), indicating deficient DNA mismatch repair of sporadic origin. Twenty-two of the tumors (67%) were interval cancers that were more common in women and did not differ significantly in TNM stage, BRAF mutation, or loss of MLH1. By histopathology, SSA/Ps that were associated with colon carcinomas contained frequent dysplasia (48%). Most cancers that arose from SSA/Ps were located on the right side of the colon and had mutant BRAF and loss of MLH1. These findings indicate that SSA/Ps are precursors of most sporadic colon carcinomas with deficient DNA mismatch repair.

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