Microsatellite instability in sporadic mucinous colorectal carcinomas: Relationship to clinico-pathological variables

Luca Messerini, Francesca Vitelli, Lucia R. De Vitis, Sabrina Mori, Anna Calzolari, Raffaele Palmirotta, Antonino Calabrò, Laura Papi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A series of 44 sporadic mucinous colorectal carcinomas was analysed for microsatellite instability; 30 consecutive sporadic non-mucinous colorectal cancers served as controls. Mucinous carcinomas showed microsatellite instability more frequently than non-mucinous cancers: 26/44 and 8/30, respectively (P = 0.005); the difference was higher for cancers with two or more microsatellite alterations: 12 of the 44 mucinous carcinomas versus one of the 30 non-mucinous carcinomas (P = 0.007). On comparing the clinico-pathological features of mucinous carcinomas with and without microsatellite instabilities, no differences were found with respect to the following variables: sex ratio, tumour localization, tumour size, peritumoural lymphocytic infiltration, Crohn's-like lymphoid reaction, peritumoural fibrosis, Dukes' stage, and relationship with adenoma. Mucinous cancers with DNA replication errors were characterized by three features: onset in younger patients (P <0.05); exophytic gross shape (P = 0.03); and an expanding pattern of growth (P = 0.003). Of the 12 mucinous carcinomas with instability in two or more microsatellites, ten (83.3 per cent) exhibited an expanding pattern of growth, while mucinous cancers with instability in one microsatellite or without genomic instability showed no distinctive growth pattern. This study confirms the relationship between microsatellite instabilities and mucin production in colorectal carcinomas, but shows that replication error RER-positive and RER-negative mucinous cancers differ in few clinico-pathological features. These differences are only in part similar to those previously reported in RER-positive colorectal carcinomas. These data indicate that mucinous carcinoma of the large bowel could represent a histological subset separate from other histotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-384
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • clinico-pathological variables
  • colorectal carcinoma
  • microsatellite instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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