DNA mismatch repair protein immunohistochemistry and MLH1 promotor methylation testing for practical molecular classification and the prediction of prognosis in endometrial cancer

Jisup Kim, Jin Kyoung Kong, Wookyeom Yang, Hanbyoul Cho, Doo Byung Chay, Bang Hyun Lee, Seong Jin Cho, Soonwon Hong, Jae Hoon Kim

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The incidence of endometrial cancer is rapidly increasing worldwide, and its molecular classification has gained importance for new therapeutic approaches. This study sought to examine the clinicopathologic features and immune markers associated with the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) status and MLH1 promoter methylation status of endometrial cancer patients. A total of 173 patients with primary endometrial cancer who had received a hysterectomy were evaluated for four MMR proteins (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2), immune markers (CD8, programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1), and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)) and p53 by immunohistochemistry (IHC), followed by an MLH1 methylation test. Patients were classified into MMR deficiency or proficiency, sporadic cancer, or probable Lynch syndrome (PLS), and the clinicopathologic features (including the expression of peritumoral immune markers) and prognosis of each group were compared. Patients with MMR deficiency or PLS showed an increase in immune markers compared those with MMR proficiency or sporadic cancer, respectively, and PLS demonstrated higher immune marker expression than MLH1 promoter methylation. Regarding prognosis, patients with MMR deficiency showed significant adverse overall survival (OS) when in stages I and II. Practical molecular classifications based on p53 staining results, in addition to MMR or PLS status, revealed an increased predictive ability for OS compared with the European Society of Medical Oncologists (ESMO) risk groups. The results of this study suggest that PLS may be a better candidate for an immune checkpoint inhibitor than MMR deficiency. The practical molecular classification contributes not only to the screening of Lynch syndrome, but also assists in predicting the prognosis in endometrial cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number279
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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