Prospective assessment of microsatellite instability in gastrointestinal neoplasia in Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi jews

H. Strul, E. Liberman, R. Kariv, M. Gartner, D. Kazanov, A. Keidar, Y. Carmeli, Y. Degani, Z. Halpern, N. Arber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Microsatellite instability (MSI) is a useful marker of replication errors in neoplasia, resulting from mutations in the mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Nearly all hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and about 15% of sporadic colorectal cancers (CRC) exhibit high MSI (MSI-H). The use of the Amsterdam criteria for HNPCC diagnosis may fail to identify many HNPCC cases. Genetic screening of mutations in the MMR genes is laborious, time-consuming, expensive and limited by a low detection rate. Hence, MSI testing is a feasible and cost-effective method to select suspected HNPCC patients for genetic analysis. MSI has not been used routinely or prospectively in the assessment of newly diagnosed CRC. Aims: To prospectively evaluate MSI status in a cohort of patients seen at the Gastrointestinal Oncology Unit of the Tel Aviv Medical Center. Methods: Ninety-eight consecutive patients with colonic or gastric neoplasia were included. Samples from neoplastic and normal mucosa were obtained at the time of diagnostic endoscopy. MSI was determined based on five Bethesda markers using standard polymerase chain reaction procedures. Results: The overall incidence of MSI was 20.4%. MSI-H was detected in 22.2% of CRC, 20% of colonic adenomas and 18.2% of gastric neoplasia. MSI-positive neoplasia tended to display multiple colonic sites, moderate-well differentiated tumors, and a higher rate of familial gastrointestinal neoplasia. Conclusions:MSI may be involved in the early stages of some colorectal tumorigenesis pathways since it may be detected in adenomas. MSI may serve as a cost-effective, reliable and important tool in the selection of HNPCC-suspected families for genetic testing. A small study population, referral bias or ethnic variation might explain the higher MSI rate. It is suggested that, similar to familial adenomatous polyposis, a state of attenuated HNPCC may exist. Hence, the clinical approach in positive patients, and their family members, should be conducted as for families with genetically proven HNPCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-148
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medicine
Issue number1-6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • (HNPCC)
  • Amsterdam criteria
  • Bethesda markers
  • Colonic adenomas colonic
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diagnostic endoscopy
  • Feasible and cost-effective
  • Gastric
  • Genes
  • Genetic analysis
  • HNPCC diagnosis
  • Hereditary
  • Marker of replication errors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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