Lynch Syndrome: Its Impact on Urothelial Carcinoma

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 7;22(2):531. doi: 10.3390/ijms22020531.


Lynch syndrome, known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), is an autosomal-dominant familial cancer syndrome with an increased risk for urothelial cancer (UC). Mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency, due to pathogenic variants in MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2, and microsatellite instability, are known for development of Lynch syndrome (LS) associated carcinogenesis. UC is the third most common cancer type in LS-associated tumors. The diversity of germline variants in the affected MMR genes and their following subsequent function loss might be responsible for the variation in cancer risk, suggesting an increased risk of developing UC in MSH2 mutation carriers. In this review, we will focus on LS-associated UC of the upper urinary tract (UUT) and bladder, their germline profiles, and outcomes compared to sporadic UC, the impact of genetic testing, as well as urological follow-up strategies in LS. In addition, we present a case of metastatic LS-associated UC of the UUT and bladder, achieving complete response during checkpoint inhibition since more than 2 years.

Keywords: DNA mismatch repair genes; Lynch syndrome; MMR; checkpoint inhibitor; immunotherapy; microsatellite instability; upper urinary tract; urothelial cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / complications
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / complications
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / pathology
  • DNA Mismatch Repair / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Microsatellite Instability
  • Mismatch Repair Endonuclease PMS2 / genetics
  • MutL Protein Homolog 1 / genetics
  • MutS Homolog 2 Protein / genetics
  • Urothelium / metabolism*
  • Urothelium / pathology


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • G-T mismatch-binding protein
  • MLH1 protein, human
  • PMS2 protein, human
  • MSH2 protein, human
  • Mismatch Repair Endonuclease PMS2
  • MutL Protein Homolog 1
  • MutS Homolog 2 Protein