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Cancer Res. 1996 May 15;56(10):2285-8.

Microsatellite alterations in bronchial and sputum specimens of lung cancer patients.

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  • 1Division of Experimental Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano, Italy.


Early diagnosis of lung cancer based on conventional screening procedures has been unable thus far to decrease lung cancer mortality. We explored the possibility of using microsatellite instability in the detection and screening of early phases of lung carcinogenesis. We studied tumor, histopathologically normal bronchial mucosa, and cytological specimens of 51 lung cancer patients for the presence of clonal variations at microsatellite polymorphisms. Microsatellite alterations were found in tumor, normal bronchial mucosa and cytological specimens of 25 of 51 (49%) of the patients. The detection of microsatellite alterations in histopathologically normal bronchial specimens and cytological clinical samples with minimal atypia suggests a possible application of this genetic marker in early diagnosis of precancerous lesions and lung cancer.

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