Reported frequencies for microsatellite instability (MSI) in oesophageal cancer differ widely in the literature, perhaps due to the high incidence of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in this cancer. Using high-resolution fluorescent microsatellite analysis (HRFMA), we analysed microsatellite alterations in detail in 50 Japanese and 50 Chinese patients with squamous cell carcinoma in the oesophagus. In HRFMA, several devices have been developed to improve the detection characteristics, reproducibility of polymerase chain reaction and the migration accuracy of electrophoresis. All the alterations observed were separable into MSI, LOH and alterations ambiguous for both. MSI was rare in these panels of oesophageal carcinomas. The frequencies of MSI in the Japanese and Chinese subjects were 8 and 4%, respectively. All the alterations were mild (within 2 base pairs) and were observed in a limited number of markers. More drastic types of MSI, such as those typical in colorectal cancer, were not observed. On the other hand, the incidence of LOH was high, reaching 50% for the Japanese and 70% for the Chinese subjects. In many of these cases, LOH was observed in multiple microsatellite markers. The frequency of LOH in each marker was not apparently biased. Although in many cases MSI and LOH were clearly distinguished with use of the sensitive and quantitative fluorescent assay, theoretically indistinguishable patterns were noted in some cases. In conclusion, MSI is rare and LOH predominates in squamous cell carcinoma in the oesophagus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research