MSI phenotype and MMR alterations in familial and sporadic gastric cancer

Marina Leite, Giovanni Corso, Sónia Sousa, Fernanda Milanezi, Luís P. Afonso, Rui Henrique, José Manuel Soares, Sérgio Castedo, Fátima Carneiro, Franco Roviello, Carla Oliveira, Raquel Seruca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microsatellite instability (MSI) is a major pathway involved in gastric carcinogenesis occurring in 20% of gastric cancer (GC). However, it is not clear whether MSI phenotype preferentially occurs in the sporadic or familial GC, when stringent inclusion criteria are used. The aim of this study was to compare the frequency of MSI and hypermethylation of MLH1 promoter in a large series of familial GC patients (non-HNPCC and non-CDH1-related) and sporadic cases. Additionally, we analysed the immunoexpression of MMR proteins in a fraction of cases. Overall, the frequency of familial GC was 7.1%, and the frequency of hereditary tumours was 4.6%. MSI phenotype and MLH1 hypermethylation frequencies were not statistical different between familial and sporadic GC settings. Further, the MSI phenotype was not associated with any clinico-pathological features studied in the familial GC setting, whereas in the sporadic setting, it was associated with older age, female gender and intestinal histotype. Using our stringent Amsterdam-based clinical criteria to select familial GC (number of cases, age of onset), we verified that sporadic and familial cases differed in gender but shared histopathological features. We verified that the frequency of MSI was similar in familial and sporadic GC settings, demonstrating that this molecular phenotype is not a hallmark of familial GC in contrast to what is verified in HNPCC. Moreover, we observed that the frequency of MLH1 hypermethylation is similar in sporadic and familial cases suggesting that in both settings MSI is not associated to MMR genetic alterations but in contrast to epigenetic deregulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1606-1613
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2011


  • gastric cancer
  • HDGC
  • MMR
  • MSI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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