Small Bowel Adenocarcinoma Frequently Exhibits Lynch Syndrome–associated Mismatch Repair Protein Deficiency But Does Not Harbor Sporadic MLH1 Deficiency

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Abstract

Universal screening for Lynch syndrome has been advocated for colorectal carcinoma but its utility in small bowel adenocarcinoma has not been reported. We analyzed a consecutive series of 71 small bowel adenocarcinomas identified over an 8-year period for DNA mismatch repair (MMR) protein expression to (1) compare the clinicopathologic features of small bowel adenocarcinoma stratified into MMR-deficient (MMRD) and MMR-proficient (MMRP) groups and (2) examine the patterns of MMR protein expression in small bowel adenocarcinoma compared with colorectal carcinoma. Six of 71 (8.5%) small bowel adenocarcinomas and 149 of 1291 (11.5%) colorectal carcinomas demonstrated MMRD. The 6 MMRD small bowel adenocarcinomas had the following expression pattern: 3 with concurrent loss of MSH2 and MSH6, 1 with isolated loss of MSH6, and 2 with concurrent loss of MLH1 and PMS2 in patients with a family history suggestive of genetic cancer susceptibility. Histopathology suggestive of MMR protein deficiency as proposed by the revised Bethesda guidelines was commonly seen in both MMRP (63%) and MMRD (67%) small bowel adenocarcinomas (P>0.05). MMRD small bowel adenocarcinoma more frequently demonstrated abnormalities of MSH2 and/or MSH6 (4/6, 67%) compared with MMRD colorectal carcinoma (23/149, 15%) (P=0.01). None of the MMRD small bowel adenocarcinomas harbored the BRAF V600E mutation, whereas 60% of MMRD colorectal carcinomas were positive for BRAF V600E with concurrent loss of MLH1 and PMS2 expression. Small bowel adenocarcinoma more frequently harbored Lynch syndrome–associated MMRD compared with colorectal carcinoma, providing support for screening of small bowel adenocarcinoma to identify patients at risk for Lynch syndrome. In contrast to colorectal carcinoma, sporadic MLH1 deficiency is not seen in small bowel adenocarcinoma. Clinicopathologic and histologic features do not distinguish between MMRP and MMRD small bowel adenocarcinoma indicating that universal screening in small bowel adenocarcinoma is necessary to detect patients at risk for Lynch syndrome.

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