Microsatellite instability in gastric cancer is associated with tumor location and family history in a high-risk population from Tuscany

Laura Ottini, Domenico Palli, Mario Falchetti, Cristina D'Amico, Andrea Amorosi, Calogero Saieva, Anna Calzolari, Federica Cimoli, Caterina Tatarelli, Laura De Marchis, Giovanna Masala, Renato Mariani-Costantini, Alessandro Cama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the presence of microsatellite instability (MSI) in a series of 108 gastric cancers (GCs) previously identified in an epidemiological study carried out in a high-risk area around Florence. To investigate associations between MSI and GC family history, 34 cases (31.5%) who had a GC-affected first-degree relative were included in the series. A family history positive for colorectal cancer was reported quite rarely (5.6%). The analysis of 6 microsatellite loci in DNA from paired normal tissue and tumor samples microdissected from paraffin-embedded specimens revealed varying degrees of instability: 56 cases (51.8%) did not show instability at any of the 6 loci; 19 (17.6%) showed instability at 1 locus; 16 (14.8%) showed instability at 2 loci; 11 (10.2%) showed instability at 3 loci; 4 (3.7%) showed instability at 4 loci; and 2 (1.9%) showed instability at 5 loci. The replication error-positive (RER+) phenotype, defined as the presence of MSI at 2 or more loci, had a frequency of 30.6% (33 of 108) and tended to be positively associated with female sex, intestinal histological type, advanced tumor stage, vascular invasion, positive GC family history, and blood group of A type. No correlation emerged between age at diagnosis and RER+ phenotype, whereas a significant association with the RER+ phenotype was shown by the antral location. A multivariate analysis adjusting for a selected group of potential confounding factors confirmed the strong association of the RER+ phenotype with the antral location (P = 0.001) and with a positive GC family history (P <0.05). Survival analyses at 5 and 8 years showed no difference between RER+ and RER- patients, even when corrected for stage distribution. By the microdissection technique, we also used microsatellite allele patterns to investigate intratumoral heterogeneity and genetic relationships between tumors and adjacent dysplasia and/or intestinal metaplasia. Areas of metaplasia and dysplasia demonstrated MSI only in cases with MSI-positive tumors. In MSI-positive tumors, there was consistent evidence of intratumoral microsatellite allele heterogeneity, indicating the presence of genetically divergent tumor cell clones within the same neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4523-4529
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Microsatellite instability in gastric cancer is associated with tumor location and family history in a high-risk population from Tuscany'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this