Mismatch Repair Deficient (dMMR) colorectal carcinoma in a Pakistani cohort: Association with clinical and pathological parameters

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Internal Medicine; Medical College Pakistan


Introduction: Microsatellite instability (MSI) is an important pathway in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) pathogenesis. MSI occurs due to mutations in mismatch repair (MMR) genes that include MutL protein homolog 1 (MLH1), postmeiotic segregation increased 2 (PMS2), MutS homolog 2 (MSH2), and MutS homolog 6 (MSH6). CRC with MSI is termed MMR deficient (dMMR) CRC. Conversely, CRC with intact MMR genes is called microsatellite stable (MSS) or MMR proficient (pMMR). In this study, we compared the clinicopathological features of dMMR CRC with pMMR CRC.
Methods: It was a retrospective study conducted in the Department of Histopathology, Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, from March 2020 to February 2022, over a duration of two years. Biopsy-proven cases of CRC with upfront surgical resection were included in the study. Microscopic examination was performed to evaluate tumor type, grade, and extent of invasion, presence of necrosis, perineural invasion (PNI), lymphovascular invasion (LVI), peritumoral lymphocytes (PTL), intratumoral lymphocytes (ITL), and nodal metastasis. Immunohistochemical staining was performed using antibodies, namely, MLH1, PMS2, MSH2, and MSH6. Any loss of nuclear expression in tumor cells was termed dMMR or microsatellite instable, whereas the intact nuclear expression in tumor cells was labeled as MSS or pMMR.
Results: A total of 135 cases of CRC were included in the study. The mean age at diagnosis was 46.76 ± 17.74 years, with female predominance (60.7%). The loss of MLH1, PMS2, MSH2, and MSH6 expression was noted in 39.3%, 34.1%, 17.8%, and 16.3% cases, respectively. Overall, 59.3% of CRCs were pMMR, while 40.7% were dMMR. A significant association of MMR status was noted with respect to age, PNI, LVI, tumor grade, tumor (T) and nodal (N) stage, mucinous differentiation, and ITL. dMMR CRC was significantly above 50 years than pMMR CRC. The frequency of PNI and LVI was lower in dMMR CRC than in pMMR CRC. Conversely, the higher grade (grade 3) and higher T-stage (T4) were associated with dMMR CRC. Alternatively, the frequency of higher N stage (N2b) was more commonly seen in pMMR CRC. Moreover, mucinous differentiation and ITL were significantly associated with dMMR CRC.
Conclusion: A significant proportion of CRC patients in our population demonstrated dMMR status. dMMR CRC had a higher histological grade with a higher frequency of mucinous differentiation and higher T-stage. Conversely, the presence of LVI, PNI, and higher N stages were associated with pMMR CRC.


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