Clinicopathologic features in colorectal cancer patients with microsatellite instability

Chandrajit P. Raut, Timothy M. Pawlik, Miguel A. Rodriguez-Bigas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The microsatellite instability (MSI) mutational pathway is critical to carcinogenesis in a small but significant proportion of colorectal cancers. While MSI is identified in most cancers in individuals with hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, the majority of MSI tumors are found in individuals with sporadic disease. Colorectal cancers arising as a result of MSI have distinct clinicopathologic features distinguishing them from those with microsatellite stability. MSI colorectal cancers affect a larger percentage of women, are usually localized proximal to the splenic flexure, and have a higher incidence of synchronous and metachronous tumors. They are associated with a mucinous histology, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, a Crohn's-like inflammatory response, and a higher grade but lower stage. Overall survival is better in individuals with MSI. The benefit of chemotherapy in MSI colorectal cancers, with and without lymph node metastases, remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 21 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer
  • DNA hypermethylation
  • Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer
  • Microsatellite instability
  • Mismatch repair
  • Sporadic colorectal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Molecular Biology


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