People with Lynch syndrome are often tested and diagnosed because they have been diagnosed with cancer or they have a family history of cancer, ultimately triggering a recommendation for genetic testing.
Eight of the 13 in his grandfather’s generation ultimately developed some form of cancer, and it wasn’t until later that Matt Yurgelun would understand why: Lynch syndrome, which increases one’s risk for a variety of cancers, runs in the family.
‘The immune systems of patients with Lynch syndrome who haven’t had cancer sometimes exhibit responses to that MSI. This suggests that these patients’ immune systems are reacting to pre-cancerous formations in the body. This discovery has spurred cancer vaccine research for people with Lynch syndrome to prevent possible cancers that might develop because of it.’