Background. Lynch syndrome is the most common genetic predisposition for hereditary cancer. Carriers of pathogenic changes in mismatch repair (MMR) genes have an increased risk of developing colorectal (CRC), endometrial, ovarian, urinary tract, prostate and other cancers, depending on which gene is malfunctioning. In Lynch syndrome, differences in cancer incidence (penetrance) according to the gene involved have led to the stratification of cancer surveillance. By contrast, any differences in penetrance determined by the type of pathogenic variant remain unknown.
Objective. To determine cumulative incidences of cancer in carriers of truncating and missense or aberrant splicing pathogenic variants of the MLH1 and MSH2 genes.
Methods. Carriers of pathogenic variants of MLH1 (path_MLH1) and MSH2 (path_MSH2) genes filed in the Prospective Lynch Syndrome Database (PLSD) were categorized as truncating or missense/aberrant splicing according to the InSiGHT criteria for pathogenicity.
Results. Among 5,199 carriers, 1,045 had missense or aberrant splicing variants and 3,930 had truncating variants. Prospective observation years for the two groups were 8,205 and 34,141 years, respectively, after which there were no significant differences in incidences for cancer overall or for colorectal cancer or endometrial cancers separately.
Conclusion. Truncating and missense or aberrant splicing pathogenic variants were associated with similar average cumulative incidences of cancer in carriers of path MLH1 and path_ MSH2.