Tag Archives: Lynch syndrome

Widespread Early Screening for Lynch Syndrome is Cost-Effective . . . and Saves Lives

If doctors ask  healthy people simple questions about cancers in their families, they can find people who are at increased risk for Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition that greatly increases risk for colorectal and uterine cancer. Doctors can use a simple set of screening questions available online to pinpoint an individual’s risk before that person ever gets cancer.   The online tool takes less than two minutes to complete. If family history shows an individual to be at higher risk, genetic testing not only saves lives but is cost-effective. Once Lynch syndrome is diagnosed, active steps can be taken to prevent Lynch-associated cancers or diagnose them early when they can be

Is Breast Cancer Linked to Lynch Syndrome?

Although breast cancer has not traditionally been considered one of the cancers associated with Lynch syndrome, evidence is building that there might be a link. Breast cancer may actually be with in the spectrum of Lynch cancers. An Australian team reviewing the pathology of breast cancers in women who carried a mutation for Lynch syndrome ( hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer) found that half of the breast tumors were mismatch repair deficient — a hallmark of Lynch cancers.

Annual Colonoscopy for Lynch Syndrome

Annual colonoscopies for people with Lynch syndrome (HNPCC or hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer) successfully find cancers at an early stage. A recent study by the German HNPCC Consortium confirmed the effectiveness of annual colonoscopies to find colorectal cancers at a curable stage.  Regular colonoscopies found early cancers more often than did patient symptoms. Current recommendations are for surveillance colonoscopies to begin by age 25, be repeated every 1 to 2 years until age 40, and then annually.

Choosing the Best Colon Surgery for Lynch Syndrome

Removing the entire colon (subtotal colectomy) is sometimes recommended for patients with Lynch syndrome when colon cancer is diagnosed.  In addition, some people who have an inherited Lynch mutation have their colons removed to prevent colon cancer. While subtotal colectomy didn’t reduce deaths from Lynch-related colon cancer, it did cut down on additional colorectal cancer diagnoses and the need for other abdominal surgery.

Risk for Lynch Syndrome Related Cancers in MSH6 Mutations

People with a mutation in the MSH6 gene, part of the Lynch syndrome, have a greatly increased risk of colorectal, endometrial, and other related cancers.  The cancers can occur in old age, with an increasing risk from age 70 to 80. About 4 in every 1000 colorectal cancers are due to an inherited mutation in the MSH6 gene.  It accounts for about 10 to 20 percent of Lynch syndrome mutations. By the time they are 80 years old, men have eight times the risk of getting colorectal cancer and women have 26 times the risk of endometrial cancer — cancer that begins in the lining of the uterus.

Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: November 1

Briefly: Pancreatic cancer occurs in about on in five Lynch syndrome families, increasing risk for the cancer substantially. Colorectal cancer patients whose tumors don’t have EGFR on immunohistochemical testing can still benefit from Erbitux treatment. Patients learn more and like medical consultations better when doctors sit side-by-side with them to view tests. Gastroenterologists deployed in Iraq are using their skills to help military working dogs.

Aspirin Prevents Lynch Syndrome Cancers

ECCO/ESMO UPDATE — BERLIN 2009 Although initial reports found no reduction in polyps or cancer in people with Lynch syndrome who took aspirin and/or resistant starch supplements, longer follow-up tells a difference story. About five years after trial participants began taking aspirin or a placebo, differences began to emerge. Even though patients in the trial only took aspirin for four years, later followup found significantly fewer colon colon cancers among those who had used  aspirin, as well as fewer Lynch-related cancers overall.   There were almost three times as many colon cancers in Lynch carriers who took a placebo compared to those who used aspirin.

September is GYN Cancers Month

September is set aside to raise awareness of gynecological cancers.  GYN cancers affect women’s reproductive organs including the cervix, endometrium, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina, vulva, and ovaries. In 2009 there will be an estimated 80,720 new cases of GYN cancers and 28,120 deaths. Women with Lynch syndrome (also known as hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC)  have a high lifetime risk of endometrial cancer, reaching 71 percent by the age of 70.  This is much higher than the general population whose risk is less than 2 percent.

Old Chemo Drug May Fight Lynch Syndrome

Methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug used as long ago as the 1940′s, may be effective against colorectal cancers caused by mutations in a gene that is part of Lynch syndrome. The drug targeted and destroyed cells that contained mutated MSH2 genes. Inherited mutations in MSH2 prevent mistakes in correct copying of DNA during cell division allowing cancer to develop and grow, particularly inherited colorectal and endometrial cancers.  In addition, MSH2 mutations can occur in some colorectal cancers that are not inherited. Based on the work done in cancer cells, a Phase II clinical trial has begun recruiting patients with advanced colorectal cancer at the Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital in the United

Lynch syndrome: Lifetime Risk of Colorectal and Endometrial Cancers

A new study estimates the lifetime risks for colorectal and endometrial cancer in people with a genetic mutation for Lynch syndrome. The analysis was controlled to avoid bias and overestimating risk. Even after adjusting for possible bias, lifetime risks for both cancers was high and the need for special surveillance was critical.