Lynch Syndrome Screening in the Gynecologic Tract: Current State of the Art Ovarian Cancer and Us OVARIAN CANCER and US Ovarian Cancer and Us

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lynch Syndrome Screening in the Gynecologic Tract: Current State of the Art



abstract

 Lynch syndrome underlies approximately 5% of endometrial cancers and ∼1% of ovarian cancers. Gynecologic malignancies are often the presenting cancer in these patients. Therefore, there is considerable benefit to identifying these patients and enrolling them and affected family members in surveillance programs for secondary malignancies. The molecular basis for Lynch syndrome is a defect in the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system. Tumors can be screened for these defects using immunohistochemistry to identify loss of MMR proteins or by enlisting polymerase chain reaction to identify the microsatellite instability that attends dysfunctional MMR. However, diagnostic confirmation of Lynch syndrome requires germline mutational testing. The algorithm for screening endometrial carcinomas for Lynch syndrome remains a subject of debate, with some studies supporting universal screening and others proposing a hybrid approach informed by clinicopathologic features. This review discusses the rationales and relative merits of current Lynch syndrome-screening approaches for endometrial and ovarian cancers and provides pathologists with an informed approach to Lynch syndrome testing in gynecologic cancers. It also addresses the clinical difficulties presented by cases with discordant screening and germline results (Lynch-like cancers) and emphasizes the critical role of strong communication with clinician and genetic counseling colleagues to ensure that the significance of a positive screening test is appropriately conveyed to patients. Finally, it discusses the need for more nuanced cost-effective analyses and the potential role for next-generation sequencing panels in future screening efforts.

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