When should genetic testing be performed in patients with neuroendocrine tumours?
Lower gastrointestinal (GI) neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) of the colon and rectum are uncommon and not traditionally associated with hereditary GI cancer syndromes. However, with widespread implementation of colorectal cancer screening programs, lower GI NENs are being identified with increasing frequency. We report the first case series of six patients with lower GI NENs who were diagnosed with hereditary GI cancer syndromes by germline testing. Two patients presented with poorly differentiated rectal neuroendocrine carcinoma (NECs) with colonic polyposis and were found to have Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and MYH-Associated Polyposis, respectively. Three patients with colorectal NENs (one well differentiated neuroendocrine tumor, NET, and two NECs), all of which displayed abnormal immunohistochemistry for mismatch repair proteins, were diagnosed with Lynch syndrome. One patient with a goblet cell carcinoid was diagnosed with CHEK2 mutations. All patients met genetic testing guidelines and the diagnosis was made utilizing next generation sequencing gene panel tests. Lower GI NETs should therefore be considered a potential hereditary GI cancer syndrome-associated malignancy in patients who otherwise meet criteria for genetic evaluation.