Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Cancer. 2002 Dec 1;102(4):366-71.

Microsatellite instability in thorotrast-induced human intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


Thorotrast, a colloidal suspension of radioactive (232)ThO(2) that emits alpha particles, was used as a radiographic contrast during World War II. It is known to induce liver cancers, most frequently ICC, decades after injection. Since radiation induces genomic instability, we analyzed MSI in Thorotrast-induced ICC. The frequency of MSI(+) cases was 62.5% in Thorotrast ICC, whereas it was 22.7% in non-Thorotrast ICC. However, frameshift mutations of mononucleotide repeats were not observed in Thorotrast ICC. In addition, the MSI(+) phenotype was not associated with the quantity of Thorotrast deposited or the latency period of ICC induction. Promoter regions of both the hMLH1 and the hMSH2 MMR genes tended to be hypermethylated in the tumor part compared to the adjacent nontumor part in Thorotrast ICC. Methylation of the hMLH1 promoter was associated with the MSI(+) phenotype in Thorotrast ICC. In contrast, methylation status of these promoter regions was not related to MSI in non-Thorotrast ICC cases. These findings suggest that MSI induced by exposure to Thorotrast mainly reflects clonal expansion of cancer cells and is partly due to inactivation of hMLH1 by hypermethylation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center