Microsatellite instability in primary and metastatic lung carcinomas

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 1995 Dec;14(4):301-6. doi: 10.1002/gcc.2870140409.


Fifty-seven primary lung carcinomas and 35 metastatic lung carcinomas were analyzed for microsatellite instability at II different chromosomal loci. Although no instability was detected in 37 small cell lung carcinomas (SCLC), it was frequently detected in non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) (16/55, 29%). In NSCLC, the incidence of replication errors (RERs) in metastatic tumors (12/22, 55%) was significantly higher than that in primary tumors (4/33, 12%) (P = 0.0021). Among 10 pairs of primary tumors and corresponding metastases, there were 4 cases which manifested the identical RER phenotypes in both primary and metastatic tumors. In two cases, RER phenotypes were detected in metastatic but not in primary tumors. Never was an RER phenotype found only in a primary tumor but not in the metastases. RERs were detected more frequently in stage III or IV tumors (3/8, 38%) than stage I or II tumors (1/25, 4%) (P = 0.0359). Tumor cells with allelic losses on chromosome arm 3p or 18q tended to have RER phenotypes (P = 0.0432 and P = 0.0187, respectively). The data suggest that microsatellite instability is common in NSCLC but not in SCLC, and that genomic instability appears late in tumor progression and plays an important role in the acquisition of more malignant phenotypes in NSCLC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / secondary
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Microsatellite Repeats*