Background & aims: Whereas it has conclusively been demonstrated that biallelic MutY human homolog (MYH) mutations confer a significant risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), the influence of monoallelic mutations remains controversial. Characterization of MYH-associated CRC is critical to identify individuals who might benefit from preventive strategies. This prospective, multicenter, case-control, population-based study was aimed at (1) establishing the CRC risk associated with specific germline MYH mutations and (2) devising a set of clinical criteria to identify MYH carriers among newly diagnosed CRC.
Methods: Genotyping for Y165C and G382D was performed by TaqMan technology. Single-stranded conformation polymorphism analysis was performed in heterozygotes to screen for mutations in the entire gene. All individuals were re-screened for any additional pathogenic variant.
Results: Biallelic and monoallelic MYH mutations were found in 8 (0.7%) and 19 (1.7%) of 1116 CRC patients, respectively. None of the 934 control subjects carried biallelic mutations, whereas 22 (2.3%) of them were monoallelic carriers. In a meta-analysis including all previous case-control studies, monoallelic MYH carriers were not at increased risk for CRC (odds ratio, 1.11; 95% confidence interval, 0.90-1.37), although a significant association was found with the Y165C mutation in either homozygotes or heterozygotes (odds ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-2.40). Furthermore, presence of more than 15 synchronous colorectal adenomas or CRC diagnosed before the age of 50 years was the most effective set of criteria for the identification of biallelic MYH mutation carriers.
Conclusions: This study proposes the first set of clinical criteria designed to identify CRC patients with biallelic MYH mutations, and it argues against an increased risk for monoallelic carriers.