Prevalence of Screening for Lynch Syndrome Varies

Genetic screening for Lynch syndrome less common at community hospitals

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Screening for Lynch syndrome, the most common form of inherited colorectal cancer, after a colorectal cancer diagnosis is common at comprehensive cancer centers but not community hospitals, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

To describe prevalent practices regarding immunohistochemistry (IHC) and microsatellite instability (MSI) reflex testing for Lynch syndrome after a colorectal cancer diagnosis, Laura C. Beamer, Ph.D., from City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., and colleagues surveyed 39 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers (NCI-CCCs), 50 American College of Surgeons-accredited Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Programs (COMPs), and 50 Community Hospital Cancer Programs (CHCPs). The overall response rate for all centers and programs was 50 percent.

The researchers found that reflex testing was conducted by 71 percent of NCI-CCCs, 36 percent of COMPs, and 15 percent of CHCPs. Of these, 48 percent used IHC, 14 percent used MSI, and 38 percent used both. None of the institutions required written consent, one used a presurgical information packet, and four offered an opt-out option.

"Although most NCI-CCCs use reflex IHC/MSI to screen for Lynch syndrome, this practice is not well-adopted by community hospitals," Beamer and colleagues conclude. "These findings may indicate an emerging standard of care and diffusion from NCI-CCCs to community cancer programs."

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