Automated, multiplex assay for high-frequency microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer.J Clin Oncol. 2003 Aug 15; 21(16):3105-12.JC
In a series of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) patients, we evaluated the sensitivities of the individual microsatellites recommended by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) consensus workshop for detection of high-frequency microsatellite instability (MSI-H). On the basis of this evaluation, we developed a three-marker assay that assigns microsatellite instability (MSI) in a multiplex polymerase chain reaction.
Individual marker sensitivity was assessed in 18 HNPCC tumors. Multiplex and NCI assays were then assessed in a series of 120 patients with early-onset colon cancer.
The sensitivity of microsatellite markers BAT25, BAT26, D2S123, D5S346, and D17S250 for ASI in HNPCC cancers was 100%, 94%, 72%, 50%, and 50%, respectively. The three most accurate markers were combined and optimized in a multiplex assay that assigned MSI-H whenever at least two of three markers revealed ASI. In early-onset colon cancers, the prevalence of MSI-H determined by the multiplex assay and by the NCI assay was 16% and 23%, respectively. The additional MSI-H tumors and patients with MSI-H identified by the NCI assay lacked the traits characteristic of MSI-H seen in tumors and patients identified by the multiplex assay: retention of heterozygosity (NCI additional 22% v multiplex 84%; P =.003), characteristic tumor morphology (0% v 64%; P =.006), and 5-year cancer survival rate (44% v 100%; P =.0003).
The multiplex assay identifies colon cancers with MSI-H by assessing three highly accurate microsatellite markers. This assay identifies a smaller MSI-H cohort with more homogeneous clinical features and is superior as a marker of favorable prognosis. It merits prospective evaluation as a marker of prognosis and as a screening test for HNPCC.