Objective: To determine whether microsatellite instability in endometrioid endometrial cancer is associated with favorable survival.
Methods: Microsatellite instability analysis was performed in 131 patients with endometrioid endometrial cancer using three polymorphic markers in paired cancer and normal DNA. Logistic regression and multivariable analyses calculated the relation between microsatellite instability, clinical features, and survival.
Results: Microsatellite instability was detected in 29 of 131 (22%) endometrioid endometrial cancers. There was no correlation between microsatellite instability and age, race, grade, stage, or depth of myometrial invasion. Microsatellite instability was associated with better survival in univariate and multivariable analyses after controlling for confounding influences (P =.03). The 5-year survival rate of those with microsatellite instability was 77% (95% confidence interval 55%, 90%) compared with only 48% (95% confidence interval 39%, 57%) in other cases. Microsatellite instability was associated with other molecular features that predict favorable outcome including PTEN mutation (P =.002) and the absence of p53 overexpression (P =.01).
Conclusion: Microsatellite instability is a molecular alteration associated with favorable outcome in endometrioid endometrial cancers, even when accounting for other prognostic factors. This association might be explained by the finding that the pathway of molecular carcinogenesis characterized by loss of DNA mismatch repair favors alteration of genes that result in a less virulent clinical phenotype.