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Low microsatellite instability is associated with poor prognosis in stage C colon cancer


PURPOSE: The significance of low microsatellite instability (MSI-L) in colorectal cancer is poorly understood. No clear biologic distinction has been found between MSI-L and microsatellite stable (MSS) colorectal cancer, and these two phenotypes are usually combined when analyzed against the well-defined high MSI (MSI-H) phenotype. Evidence is emerging that an O(6)-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene defect is associated with MSI-L. Therefore, to further define this phenotype, we undertook a detailed analysis of the prognostic significance of MSI-L and loss of MGMT expression in colon cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study cohort was 183 patients with clinicopathologic stage C colon cancer who had not received adjuvant therapy. We analyzed MSI status, MGMT, and mismatch repair protein expression, as well as MGMT and p16 promoter hypermethylation. RESULTS: We showed that MSI-L defines a group of patients with poorer survival (P = .026) than MSS patients, and that MSI-L was an independent prognostic indicator (P = .005) in stage C colon cancer. Loss of MGMT protein expression was associated with the MSI-L phenotype but was not a prognostic factor for overall survival in colon cancer. p16 methylation was significantly less frequent in MSI-L than in MSI-H and MSS tumors and was not associated with survival. CONCLUSION: MSI-L characterizes a distinct subgroup of stage C colon cancer patients, including the MSI-L subset of proximal colon cancer, who have a poorer outcome. Neither the MGMT defect nor p16 methylation are likely to contribute to the worse prognosis of the MSI-L phenotype.

Type Journal
ISBN 0732-183X (Print)
Authors Kohonen-Corish, M. R.;Daniel, J. J.;Chan, C.;Lin, B. P.;Kwun, S. Y.;Dent, O. F.;Dhillon, V. S.;Trent, R. J.;Chapuis, P. H.;Bokey, E. L. :
Published Date 2005-01-01
Published Volume 23
Published Issue 10
Published Pages 2318-24
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version