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Gastroenterology. 1995 Dec;109(6):1765-71.

Microsatellite instability in human colonic cancer is not a useful clinical indicator of familial colorectal cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Microsatellite instability is a property of most tumors occurring in the context of hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer. Instability also occurs in 10%-15% of apparently sporadic colorectal cancers, and it has been hypothesized that this instability may indicate a genetic predisposition to colonic cancer. This study evaluated whether there is a clinically useful association between colon cancer instability and a family history of cancer.

METHODS:

Colon cancer cases (n = 188) from a population-based study were evaluated for microsatellite instability with 10 polymerase chain reaction primer sets. Instability results were compared with family history and other clinical and biological characteristics.

RESULTS:

Microsatellite instability was found in 16.5% of tumors. It was predominantly a feature of right-sided tumors (P = 0.003) and was associated with the youngest and oldest ages at diagnosis (P = 0.01). Instability was not associated with family history of cancer, sex of the individual, or the glutathione-S-transferase mu 1 null genotype.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although some very small, and as yet undefined, proportion of colon cancer may be caused by inherited mutations leading to microsatellite instability, tumoral instability by itself is not a marker for familiality and should not be considered as evidence for an inherited syndrome.

PMID:
7498640
DOI:
10.1016/0016-5085(95)90742-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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