The benefit of microsatellite instability is attenuated by chemotherapy in stage II and stage III gastric cancer: Results from a large cohort with subgroup analyses

Soo Young Kim, Yoon Young Choi, Ji Yeong An, Hyun Beak Shin, Ara Jo, Hyeji Choi, Sang Hyuk Seo, Hui Jae Bang, Jae Ho Cheong, Woo Jin Hyung, Sung Hoon Noh

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We previously reported that the prognosis of microsatellite instability high (MSI-H) gastric cancer is similar to that of MSI-low/microsatellite stable (MSI-L/MSS) gastric cancer. The reason for this seemed to be related to the effects of chemotherapy. To verify this hypothesis, we expanded the study population and reanalyzed the prognosis of MSI-H gastric cancer. Data from 1,276 patients with Stage II and III gastric cancer who underwent gastrectomy with curative intent between January 2005 and June 2010 were reviewed. The prognosis of MSI-H tumors in comparison with MSI-L/MSS tumors was analyzed, according to the administration of chemotherapy and other clinicopathologic features. A total of 361 (28.3%) patients did not receive chemotherapy (MSI-H = 47 and MSI-L/MSS = 314), whereas 915 (71.7%) patients did receive chemotherapy (MSI-H = 58 and MSI-L/MSS = 857). The hazard ratio of MSI-H versus MSI-L/MSS was 0.49 (95% confidence interval: 0.26-0.94, p = 0.031) when chemotherapy was not received and 1.16 (95% confidence interval: 0.78-1.71, p = 0.466) when chemotherapy was received. In subgroup analyses, the prognosis of MSI-H was better in Stage III, women, with lymph node metastasis, and undifferentiated histology subgroups when chemotherapy was not received. However, in patients treated with chemotherapy, prognosis was worse for MSI-H tumors in Stage III, undifferentiated histology, and diffuse type subgroups of gastric cancer. In conclusion, MSI-H tumors were associated with a good prognosis in Stage II and III gastric cancer when patients were treated by surgery alone, and the benefits of MSI-H status were attenuated by chemotherapy. What's new? The frequency of microsatellite instability (MSI) in gastric cancer is associated with prognosis, with high frequency (MSI-H) generally linked to good prognosis. Importantly, however, the ability of MSI frequency to predict patient outcome in gastric cancer may be influenced by chemotherapy. The authors of the present study tested that hypothesis by analyzing data on stage II and stage III gastric cancer patients who underwent gastrectomy. The prognostic benefits conferred by MSI-H status were found to be significantly reduced among patients who received chemotherapy following surgery. Certain clinico-pathological characteristics also modified the association of MSI-H with gastric cancer prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-825
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 UICC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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