Genetic instability in patients with metachronous colorectal cancers

Br J Surg. 1997 Jul;84(7):996-1000. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800840725.


Background: Nearly 7 per cent of patients who undergo resection for colorectal cancer develop metachronous cancers several years later. A molecular marker that could identify patients susceptible to metachronous cancers would be of clinical importance.

Methods: Twenty-four colorectal cancers from 15 individuals with metachronous colorectal cancer were investigated for microsatellite instability at five loci by single stranded conformational polymorphism analysis. A control group of 14 colorectal cancers from individuals who had only developed one sporadic colorectal cancer each was analysed similarly.

Results: Microsatellite instability was demonstrated in 17 of 24 cancers from individuals with metachronous cancer compared with one of 14 cancers from individuals with a single colorectal cancer.

Conclusion: These results suggest that testing for microsatellite instability may be useful in recognizing patients at high risk of developing metachronous colorectal cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational


  • DNA, Neoplasm