Clinical and pathological characteristics of sporadic colorectal carcinomas with DNA replication errors in microsatellite sequences

Am J Pathol. 1994 Jul;145(1):148-56.


DNA replication errors (RERs) in repeated nucleotide sequences due to defective mismatch repair genes have been reported in a subset of sporadic colorectal carcinomas and in the majority of tumors from patients with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome (HNPCC). We detected RER in 18 cases (13%) in a prospective series of 137 sporadic stage II and III (Dukes' B and C) colorectal carcinomas. The clinical and pathological features of the RER-positive cases differed from those without RER. The patients with RER-positive cancers tended to be somewhat younger (60 +/- 5 years, range 22-83, versus 66 +/- 1, range 27-90, P = 0.2 with unequal variances) and had a marked preponderance of tumors proximal to the splenic flexure (17/18, 94%, versus 41/119, 34%, P < 0.0001). Only two RER-positive patients (11%) had a family history of colorectal cancer. In comparison to the 41 RER-negative proximal colonic cancers, RER-positive cancers had more frequent exophytic growth (P = 0.04), large size (P = 0.03), poor differentiation (P = 0.0004), extracellular mucin production (P = 0.003) and Crohn's-like lymphoid reaction (P = 0.003), and a trend toward less frequent p53 gene product overexpression by immunohistochemistry (3/17, 18%, versus 18/41, 44%, P = 0.06). We conclude that a subset of sporadic colorectal carcinomas has unique biological features that may indicate inherited germline mutation, de novo germline mutation, or somatic mutations of the mismatch repair genes involved in HNPCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma / genetics
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • DNA Replication / genetics*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • DNA, Satellite / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • DNA, Satellite