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Keywords:

  • DNA mismatch repair;
  • hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer;
  • Kaplan-Meiers analysis;
  • Lynch syndrome;
  • multiple primary neoplasms;
  • statistical bias

Lynch syndrome or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer is caused by mutations of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. The extracolonic tumour spectrum includes endometrial, ovarian, gastric, small bowel, pancreatic, hepatobiliary, brain, and urothelial neoplasms. Families were referred on the basis of clinical criteria. Tumour immunohistochemistry and microsatellite testing were performed. Appropriate patients underwent sequencing of relevant exons of the MMR genes. Proven and obligate mutation carriers and first-degree relatives (FDRs) with a Lynch syndrome spectrum cancer were considered mutation carriers, as were a proportion of untested, unaffected FDRs based on the proportion of unaffected relatives testing positive in each age group. Kaplan–Meier analysis of risk to 70 years was calculated. One hundred and eighty-four Lynch syndrome spectrum extracolonic cancers in 839 proven, obligate, or assumed mutation carriers were analysed. Cumulative risk for females of an extracolonic tumour is 47.4% (95% CI 43.9–50.8). The risk to males is 26.5% (95% CI 22.6–30.4). There was no reduction in gynaecological malignancies due to gynaecological screening (examination, transvaginal ultrasound scan, hysteroscopy and endometrial biopsy). Males have a higher risk of gastric cancer than females (p = 0.0003). Gastric cancer risk in those born after 1935 does not justify surveillance. These penetrance estimates have been corrected for ascertainment bias and are appropriate for those referred to a high-risk clinic.