Colorectal Carcinoma in Malaysians: DNA Mismatch Repair Pattern in a Multiethnic Population


Background: The interesting preponderance of Chinese with colorectal carcinoma (CRC) amongst the threemajor ethnic groups in Malaysia prompted a study to determine DNA mismatch repair (MMR) status in ourCRC and attempt correlation with patient age, gender and ethnicity as well as location, grade, histological typeand stage of tumour. Histologically re-confirmed CRC, diagnosed between 1st January 2005 and 31st December2007 at the Department of Pathology, University of Malaya Medical Centre, were immunohistochemically stainedwith monoclonal antibodies to MMR proteins, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2 on the Ventana BenchmarkXT autostainer. Of the 142 CRC cases entered into the study, there were 82 males and 60 females (M:F=1.4:1).Ethnically, 81 (57.0%) were Chinese, 32 (22.5%) Malays and 29 (20.4%) Indians. The patient ages rangedbetween 15-87 years (mean=62.4 years) with 21 cases <50-years and 121 ≥50-years of age. 14 (9.9%) CRCshowed deficient MMR (dMMR). Concurrent loss of MLH1 and PMS2 occurred in 10, MSH2 and MSH6 in 2with isolated loss of MSH6 in 1 and PMS2 in 1. dMMR was noted less frequently amongst the Chinese (6.2%)in comparison with their combined Malay and Indian counterparts (14.8%), and was associated with rightsided and poorly differentiated tumours (p<0.05). 3 of the 5 (60.0%) dMMR CRC cases amongst the Chineseand 1 of 9 cases (11.1%) amongst the combined Malay and Indian group were <50-years of age. No significantassociation of dMMR was noted with patient age and gender, tumour stage or mucinous type.