Many hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancers (CRCs) cannot be explained by Lynch syndrome. Other high penetrance genetic risk factors are likely to play a role in these mismatch repair (MMR)-proficient CRC families. Because genomic profiles of CRC tend to vary with CRC susceptibility syndromes, our aim is to analyze the genomic profile of MMR-proficient familial CRC to obtain insight into the biological basis of MMR-proficient familial CRC. We studied 30 MMR-proficient familial colorectal carcinomas, from 15 families, for genomic aberrations, including gains, physical losses, and copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity LOH (cnLOH) using SNP array comparative genomic hybridization. In addition, we performed somatic mutation analysis for KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA and GNAS. The frequency of 20q gain (77%) is remarkably increased when compared with sporadic CRC, suggesting that 20q gain is involved in tumor progression of familial CRC. There is also a significant increase in the frequency of cnLOH and, as a consequence, a reduced frequency of physical loss compared with sporadic CRC. The most frequent aberrations observed included gains of 7p, 7q, 8q, 13q, 20p and 20q as well as physical losses of 17p, 18p and 18q. Most of these changes are also observed in sporadic CRC. Mutations in KRAS were identified in 37% of the MMR-proficient CRCs, and mutations in BRAF were identified in 16%. No mutations were identified in PIK3CA or chromosome 20 candidate gene GNAS. We show that the patterns of chromosomal instability of MMR-proficient familial CRC are clearly distinct from those from sporadic CRC. Both the increased gain on chromosome 20 and the increased levels of cnLOH suggest the presence of yet undiscovered germline defects that can, in part, underlie the cancer risk in these families.
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