Modern day screening for Lynch syndrome in endometrial cancer: the KEM experience

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2021 Oct;304(4):975-984. doi: 10.1007/s00404-021-06006-w. Epub 2021 Mar 12.


Purpose: Current guidelines for Lynch syndrome detection in endometrial cancer (EC) patients rely either on risk evaluation, based on personal/family history, or detection of mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency on tumor tissue. We present a combined screening algorithm for Lynch syndrome.

Methods: In this study, 213 consecutive patients treated for EC at Kliniken Essen-Mitte between 2014 and 2018 were included. Personal/family history was evaluated by the Amsterdam II, revised Bethesda/German-DKG criteria and prediction model PREMM5. MMR testing was performed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based microsatellite analysis on tumor tissue. MLH1 promoter methylation analysis was performed in case of MLH1 loss or microsatellite instability.

Results: Based on personal/family history 2/213 (Amsterdam II), 31/213 (revised Bethesda/German-DKG) and 149/213 (PREMM5) patients were identified as at risk for Lynch syndrome. MMR analysis was performed by IHC in 51.2%, by PCR in 32.4%, and in 16.4% of patients both methods were used. MMR deficiency was detected in 20.6% (44/213). Methylation analysis was performed in 27 patients of whom, 22 (81.4%) showed MLH1 promoter hypermethylation. Only 9% of MMR deficient patients were identified as at risk for Lynch syndrome by the revised Bethesda/German-DKG criteria. A pathogenic germline mutation was discovered in 3 out of 20 patients that underwent genetic testing. None of these patients were younger than 50 years or had a family history of Lynch syndrome-associated malignancies.

Conclusion: General MMR assessment is a feasible strategy to improve the detection of Lynch Syndrome in patients with EC.

Keywords: DNA mismatch repair; Endometrial cancer; Lynch syndrome; MLH1 hypermethylation.

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis* / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis* / genetics
  • DNA Methylation
  • DNA Mismatch Repair / genetics
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MutL Protein Homolog 1 / genetics
  • MutL Protein Homolog 1 / metabolism


  • MutL Protein Homolog 1