Clinical implications of microsatellite instability in sporadic colon cancers
AbstractPurpose of review
To review data demonstrating the prognostic and predictive impact of microsatellite instability (MSI) in human colon carcinomas.Recent findings
MSI is a molecular marker of defective DNA mismatch repair that is detected in approximately 15% of sporadic colon cancers. Most, but not all retrospective studies, have shown that colon cancers with MSI have better stage-adjusted survival rates compared with non-MSI tumors. Furthermore, analyses of colon cancers from participants in randomized adjuvant therapy trials have suggested that MSI tumors do not benefit from treatment with 5-fluorouracil. Recent studies, including a pooled analysis, validate prior data demonstrating the prognostic and predictive impact of MSI status in colon cancer.Summary
MSI is a molecular marker that can provide valuable prognostic and predictive information in colon cancer patients. In the appropriate clinical setting, MSI data can be used in clinical decision-making. Specifically, the favorable outcome of stage II colon cancers with MSI indicates that such patients should not receive adjuvant chemotherapy. Although data for stage III colon cancers with MSI suggest a lack of benefit from 5-fluorouracil alone, the benefit of the current standard treatment, 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin, in this subgroup remains unknown and awaits further study.