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Eur J Cancer. 2008 Oct;44(15):2288-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2008.06.043. Epub 2008 Aug 15.

Microsatellite instability in sporadic colon carcinomas has no independent prognostic value in a Belgian study population.

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Laboratory of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, University of Antwerp (UA) and Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital (UZA), Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium.


Pathological stage is currently the most important determinant of colorectal cancer prognosis. Hence, identification of additional prognostic markers is warranted. This study aimed to analyse the prognostic relevance of microsatellite instability (MSI) in 241 colon and 90 rectal tumours, using a mononucleotide loci multiplex PCR assay and immunohistochemistry. Thirty (12.4%) colon tumours and one rectal tumour showed MSI. Although MSI was associated with proximal location and poor differentiation, no survival benefit was observed. The prognostic value of stage and differentiation was confirmed in this study. Analysis by stage revealed a longer overall (stage II/III) and disease free survival (stage II) for patients with well differentiated tumours. In addition, age and distal localisation were related to longer overall survival in stage II tumours. In conclusion, our findings show an association of MSI in sporadic colon tumours and certain clinical features; however, they do not suggest a survival benefit for MSI tumours.

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