Carcinoma of the lower uterine segment: A newly described association with Lynch Syndrome

Shannon N Westin, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Purpose. We performed a case-comparison study to describe the characteristics of LUS tumors and their association with risk factors for endometrial cancer. Patients and Methods. From January 1996 through October 2007, 3,892 women were identified with a diagnosis of primary endometrial carcinoma or primary cervical adenocarcinoma. Pathology records from the 1,009 women who had a hysterectomy were reviewed. Subjects were included in the LUS group only if the tumor was clearly originating from the area between the lower corpus and upper cervix in the hysterectomy specimen. The LUS group was compared to all patients with endometrial corpus carcinoma who underwent hysterectomy at our institution in a 12-month period randomly selected from the study period. Risk factors for endometrial carcinoma such as body mass index (BMI) and Lynch Syndrome were assessed. Expression of estrogen receptor (ER), vimentin, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), p16, and human papilloma virus DNA (HPV DNA) was assessed; this panel is known to be effective in distinguishing adenocarcinomas of endometrial versus endocervical origin. Fisher's Exact, Chi-square, Mann-Whitney, and Student's t-tests were utilized for statistical analysis. Results. Thirty-five of 1,009 women had endometrial carcinoma of the LUS (3.5%; 95% CI: 2–4%). Compared to patients with corpus tumors, LUS patients were younger (54.2 vs. 62.9 years, P = .001), had higher stage (P < .001), and more invasive tumors (P = .001). Preoperative diagnosis of the LUS tumors more frequently included the possibility of endocervical adenocarcinoma ( P < .001), leading to preoperative radiation therapy in 4 patients. Median BMI was similar in the LUS and corpus groups. Seventy-three percent of the available LUS tumors had a similar immunohistochemical expression pattern to conventional endometrioid adenocarcinoma. Because of the young median age for the LUS group, we performed immunohistochemistry for Lynch syndrome-associated DNA mismatch repair proteins MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2. Microsatellite instability testing (MSI) and MLH1 promoter hypermethylation were performed when indicated. Thirty-six percent of the LUS tumors were MSI-high. Ten of thirty-five (29%) women with LUS tumors were either confirmed to have Lynch Syndrome or were strongly suspected to have Lynch Syndrome based on tissue-based molecular assays (95% CI, 16 to 45%). Conclusions. Endometrial carcinoma arising in the LUS is a clinical and pathologic entity which can be diagnostically confused with cervical adenocarcinoma. In general, LUS tumors can be correctly identified as being endometrial carcinoma using the immunohistochemical panel noted above. The prevalence of Lynch Syndrome in patients with LUS tumors is much greater than that of the general endometrial cancer population (1.8%) or in endometrial cancer patients younger than 50 years of age (8–9%). Based on our results, the possibility of Lynch Syndrome should be considered in women with LUS tumors.

Subject Area

Public health|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Westin, Shannon N, "Carcinoma of the lower uterine segment: A newly described association with Lynch Syndrome" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1450302.