Men with Lynch Syndrome Genetic Condition at Greater
Risk of Prostate, Other Cancers
New study adds prostate to list of several cancers
associated with one of the most common inherited genetic conditions
April 1, 2013 - Men with an inherited genetic condition called Lynch
syndrome face a higher lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer and
appear to develop the disease at an earlier age, according to a new
study led by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive
Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition linked to
a higher risk of several types of cancer. People with Lynch syndrome
have up to 80 percent lifetime risk of colorectal cancer and are also
more likely to develop endometrial, gastric, ovarian, urinary tract,
pancreatic and brain tumors.
Overall, about 1 in 440 people are carriers for the
genetic mutation, making it one of the most common inherited cancer
The findings in prostate cancer have implications
for screening younger men who may be at higher risk of the disease.
Recent guideline recommendations advise against prostate cancer
screening in men younger than 75 who do not have any symptoms.
“For men with an inherited risk factor for prostate
cancer, they should still be thinking about prostate cancer screening.
Our study suggests men with Lynch syndrome might benefit from regular
prostate cancer screening,” says lead study author Victoria M. Raymond,
a certified genetic counselor with the University of Michigan’s
Cancer Genetics Clinic.
The researchers looked at 198 families who have a
strong family history of cancer and were enrolled in registries at the
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center or at
Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
These family registries included 4,127 men who were included in this
Among men with a mutation linked to Lynch syndrome,
the researchers estimated their lifetime risk of prostate cancer to be
30 percent, compared to 18 percent among the general population. Men
aged 20-59 who carried this mutation also faced a higher risk of
prostate cancer than the general public.
Earlier studies have suggested that Lynch syndrome
might play a role in inherited prostate cancer, but studies to date have
“It’s been tricky to figure out if prostate cancer
is really associated with Lynch syndrome. It’s a very common cancer.
When you see it occurring in families, it’s difficult to figure out if
that’s because it’s associated with Lynch syndrome or just because it’s
really common,” Raymond says.
The current study uses a more rigorous statistical
analysis and pulls from a larger number of people. This same method has
previously linked Lynch syndrome to endometrial cancer and pancreatic
The American Cancer Society
projects 238,590 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this
year and 29,720 will die from the disease.
Additional authors include Bhramar Mukherjee, Fei
Wang, Shu-Chen Huang, Elena M. Stoffel, Fay Kastrinos, Sapna Syngal,
Kathleen A. Cooney, Stephen B. Gruber
Funding for the study came from the National
Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute
grants K24-113433, R01-CA136621, P50-CA69568, P30-CA014089 and
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