Genotypic and Phenotypic Characteristics of Hereditary Colorectal Cancer

Ann Coloproctol. 2021 Dec;37(6):368-381. doi: 10.3393/ac.2021.00878.0125. Epub 2021 Dec 22.


The genomic causes and clinical manifestations of hereditary colorectal cancer (HCRC) might be stratified into 2 groups, namely, familial (FCRC) and a limited sense of HCRC, respectively. Otherwise, FCRC is canonically classified into 2 major categories; Lynch syndrome (LS) or associated spectra and inherited polyposis syndrome. By contrast, despite an increasing body of genotypic and phenotypic traits, some FCRC cannot be clearly differentiated as definitively single type, and the situation has become more complex as additional causative genes have been discovered. This review provides an overview of HCRC, including 6 LS or associated spectra and 8 inherited polyposis syndromes, according to molecular pathogenesis. Variants and newly-identified FCRC are particularly emphasized, including MUTYH (or MYH)-associated polyposis, Muir-Torre syndrome, constitutional mismatch repair deficiency, EPCAM-associated LS, polymerase proofreading-associated polyposis, RNF43- or NTHL1-associated serrated polyposis syndrome, PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome, and hereditary mixed polyposis syndrome. We also comment on the clinical utility of multigene panel tests, focusing on comprehensive cancer panels that include HCRC. Finally, HCRC surveillance strategies are recommended, based on revised or notable concepts underpinned by competent validation and clinical implications, and favoring major guidelines. As hereditary syndromes are mainly attributable to genomic constitutions of distinctive ancestral groups, an integrative national HCRC registry and guideline is an urgent priority.

Keywords: Adenomatous polyposis coli; Colorectal neoplasms; Hereditary neoplastic syndrome; Interstit­nal polyposis; Lynch syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review