Lynch Syndrome: Genomics Update and Imaging Review.
Radiographics. 2018 Mar-Apr;38(2):483-499. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018170075. Cox VL1, Saeed Bamashmos AA1, Foo WC1, Gupta S1, Yedururi S1, Garg N1, Kang HC1.
Lynch syndrome is the most common hereditary cancer syndrome, the most common cause of heritable colorectal cancer, and the only known heritable cause of endometrial cancer. Other cancers associated with Lynch syndrome include cancers of the ovary, stomach, urothelial tract, and small bowel, and less frequently, cancers of the brain, biliary tract, pancreas, and prostate. The oncogenic tendency of Lynch syndrome stems from a set of genomic alterations of mismatch repair proteins. Defunct mismatch repair proteins cause unusually high instability of regions of the genome called microsatellites. Over time, the accumulation of mutations in microsatellites and elsewhere in the genome can affect the production of important cellular proteins, spurring tumorigenesis. Universal testing of colorectal tumors for microsatellite instability (MSI) is now recommended to (a) prevent cases of Lynch syndrome being missed owing to the use of clinical criteria alone, (b) reduce morbidity and mortality among the relatives of affected individuals, and (c) guide management decisions. Organ-specific cancer risks and associated screening paradigms vary according to the sex of the affected individual and the type of germline DNA alteration causing the MSI. Furthermore, Lynch syndrome-associated cancers have different pathologic, radiologic, and clinical features compared with their sporadic counterparts. Most notably, Lynch syndrome-associated tumors tend to be more indolent than non-Lynch syndrome-associated neoplasms and thus may respond differently to traditional chemotherapy regimens. The high MSI in cases of colorectal cancer reflects a difference in the biologic features of the tumor, possibly with a unique susceptibility to immunotherapy. ©RSNA, 2018.