Molecular analysis of endometrial hyperplasia in HNPCC-suspicious patients may predict progression to endometrial carcinoma.Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2004 Jan; 23(1):18-25.IJ
Women predisposed to hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer are at high risk of developing endometrial carcinoma at a young age. Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer-associated endometrial carcinomas are of the endometrioid type, usually arise from complex atypical hyperplasia, and often show microsatellite instability. To identify occult hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer individuals among endometrial carcinoma patients, we examined complex atypical hyperplasias and endometrial carcinomas of 60 women < or =50 years of age (mean age: 35.7 years) using microsatellite instability, immunohistochemistry, and DNA sequence analysis. Three patient groups were recruited: group 1, patients with complex atypical hyperplasia exclusively (n = 27); group 2, patients with complex atypical hyperplasia and synchronous or metachronous endometrial carcinoma (n = 15); group 3, patients with endometrial carcinoma only (n = 18). Overall, 13 of 33 endometrial carcinomas (39%) displayed high-level microsatellite instability. None of the complex atypical hyperplasias in group 1 had high-level microsatellite instability or loss of hMLH1/hMSH2 protein expression. In group 2 patients, 33% of complex atypical hyperplasias and 53% of endometrial carcinomas had high-level microsatellite instability. Loss of hMSH2 protein expression was found in six endometrial carcinoma patients, five of them with verified hMSH2 germline mutations, including four patients with high-level microsatellite instability in complex atypical hyperplasia. Among group 3 patients, 28% of endometrial carcinomas displayed high-level microsatellite instability; three of those five endometrial carcinomas were from patients with multiple extrauterine hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer-associated tumors. We conclude that young women (< or =50 years of age) with concurrent complex atypical hyperplasia and multiple hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer-associated carcinomas are at risk of developing high-level microsatellite instability endometrial carcinoma. Combined microsatellite instability and immunohistochemistry analysis allows the identification of a high proportion of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer patients among young women with endometrial carcinoma and complex atypical hyperplasia. All complex atypical hyperplasias with high-level microsatellite instability progressed to endometrial carcinoma. Only one third of the complex atypical hyperplasias with microsatellite stability progressed to high-level microsatellite instability endometrial carcinoma, while seven complex atypical hyperplasias progressed to microsatellite stability endometrial carcinoma. Microsatellite analysis of complex atypical hyperplasia in young patients may therefore be a useful prognostic marker for predicting possible progression to high-level microsatellite instability endometrial carcinomas.