Molecular and Genetic Markers in Appendiceal Mucinous Tumors: A Systematic Review

Ann Surg Oncol. 2020 Jan;27(1):85-97. doi: 10.1245/s10434-019-07879-7. Epub 2019 Oct 3.


Introduction: The role of somatic mutation profiling in the management of appendiceal mucinous tumors (AMTs) is evolving. Using a systematic review, we identified somatic alterations (SAs) that comprise histopathologic types of AMTs and those associated with aggressive clinical phenotypes.

Methods: MEDLINE/PubMed was searched for studies on AMTs including molecular markers or genomic alterations, published between 1990 and 2018. Studies were grouped under low- and high-grade histological type for primary and metastatic tumors.

Results: Twenty-one studies involving 1099 tumors (primary/metastatic) were identified. Seven studies involving 101 primary low-grade AMTs identified KRAS (76.5%) as the predominant SA. Four studies noted GNAS in 45.2% of 42 low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasms, and KRAS was identified in 74.4% of 14 studies with 238 low-grade pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). GNAS was noted in 56% of 101 tumors and TP53 was noted in only 9.7% of 31 tumors. Primary high-grade tumors demonstrated lower SAs in KRAS (50.4% of 369 tumors) and GNAS (27.8% of 97 tumors), and higher SAs in TP53 (26.0% of 123 tumors). In high-grade PMP, SAs were noted in KRAS (55.0% of 200 tumors), GNAS (35.0% of 60 tumors), and TP53 (26.3% of 19 tumors). No clear association was noted between SAs and survival.

Conclusions: KRAS and GNAS are frequently altered in low-grade AMTs, while TP53 is frequently altered in high-grade AMTs, with no apparent change in expression between primary and metastatic tumors. Although SAs may provide valuable insights into variability in tumor biology, larger studies utilizing clinically annotated genomic databases from multi-institutional consortiums are needed to improve their identification and clinical applicability.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / pathology*
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Genetic Markers*
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Genetic Markers