Allelic imbalance and microsatellite instability in plasma DNA released from polyclonal pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Int J Oncol. 2002 Nov;21(5):949-56. doi: 10.3892/ijo.21.5.949.


Evidence of circulating soluble DNA in blood-stream of cancer patients has emerged. Because the plasma DNA is largely derived from cancer cells, genetic analysis of plasma DNA is important to understand the molecular events occurred in cancer patient. Seven microsatellite markers in the soluble plasma DNA from patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and other pancreato-biliary malignant tumors were examined for microsatellite instability (MSI) and allelic imbalance (AI). A variety of genetic alterations including MSI and AI were detected in the plasma DNA. Some alterations were detected before recurrence of the tumor was verified. Analysis of five primary pancreatic adenocarcinomas by microdissection revealed that the heterogeneous nature of pancreatic tumors is associated with both MSI and AI in the same tumor. The presence of altered plasma DNA including MSI and/or AI from the same pancreatic cancer patient may be important evidence for the presence of these alterations in heterogeneous primary tumors. Analysis of plasma DNA could become one of the diagnostic or therapeutic measures for this type of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Allelic Imbalance*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / blood*
  • Female
  • Genes, ras
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA, Neoplasm