Contrasting molecular pathology of colorectal carcinoma in Egyptian and Western patients

A. S. Soliman, M. L. Bondy, S. A. El-Badawy, N. Mokhtar, S. Eissa, S. Bayoumy, I. A. Seifeldin, P. S. Houlihan, J. R. Lukish, T. Watanabe, A. On On Chan, D. Zhu, C. I. Amos, B. Levin, S. R. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Colorectal carcinoma is uncommon in Egypt, but a high proportion of cases occurs before age 40 years and in the rectum. We compared the molecular pathology of 59 representative Egyptian patients aged 10-72 to Western patients with sporadic, young-onset, or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer syndrome (HNPCC)-associated carcinoma and found significant differences. Most Egyptian cancers were rectal (51%) and poorly differentiated (58%). High levels of microsatellite instability (MSI-H) were frequent (37%) and attributable in some cases (36%) to methylation of the promoter of the hMLH1 mismatch repair gene, but no MSI-H cancer had loss of hMSH2 mismatch repair gene product of the type seen with germline hMSH2 mutation in HNPCC. K-ras mutation was uncommon (11%). In subset analyses, high frequencies of MSI-H in rectal carcinomas (36%) and p53 gene product overexpression in MSI-H cancers (50%) were found. MSI-H and K-ras mutation in Egyptians under age 40 were unusual (17% and 0%, respectively), and schistosomiasis was associated with MSI and K-ras mutation. Cluster analysis identified 2 groups: predominantly young men with poorly differentiated mucinous and signet-ring cell colorectal carcinoma lacking K-ras mutation; older patients who had well- or moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma often with MSI-H, K-ras mutation and schistosomiasis. Our findings show that the molecular pathology of colorectal cancer in older as well as younger Egyptians has unique differences from Western patients, and schistosomiasis influences the molecular pathogenesis of some tumours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1046
Number of pages10
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 28 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Egypt
  • Microsatellite instability
  • Schistosomiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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