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September 5th, 2013

Molecular Biomarkers to Inform Adjuvant Therapy for Lynch Syndrome

By AJ Montpetit

Lynch Syndrome

The most common hereditary colon cancer disorder, Lynch syndrome, increases the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and are usually caused by germline mutations in 1 of 4 mismatch repair (MMR) genes: MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2.

Identifying people who are at risk is important for their care, as well as the care of members of their family. A Lynch diagnosis may determine the extent of colon cancer surgery, for instance, and it increases the need for more-frequent colonoscopies after a colon cancer diagnosis.

Douglas L. Riegert-Johnson, M.D., a medical geneticist and gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., says about 2 out of every 100 screened patients test positive for Lynch syndrome and generally find other members in their family with colorectal cancer, or other Lynch-associated cancer.

Dr. Riegert-Johnson notes that a few other centers are using multi-gene panels for hereditary colon cancer but in general, far too little Lynch syndrome screening takes place. "As of today, 1 percent of hospitals — 57 of 5,724 — are listed as routinely screening for Lynch syndrome," he says. "Despite an important 2005 study supporting screening, it has been slow to catch on."

Read more on this here.

Tags: biomarker, biomarkers, cancer, colorectal cancer, Genetics, genome, genomics, individualized medicine, lynch syndrome, molecular biomarkers, Uncategorized

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