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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Microsatellite instability of germ cell tumors is associated with resistance to systemic treatment.

Systemic cisplatin-based chemotherapy cures > or =90% of patients with metastatic germ cell tumors (GCTs). The biological basis of this exquisite chemo-sensitivity and the resistant phenotype encountered in 10-15% of patients with GCT is yet unclear. A defective mismatch repair pathway leading to microsatellite instability (MSI) has been related to resistance to cytotoxic drugs. We investigated 100 unselected GCTs and 11 clinically defined chemotherapy-resistant GCTs for MSI using 8 mono- or dinucleotide markers and the presence of the mismatch repair factors MLH1, MSH2, and MSH6 by immunohistochemistry. The resistant tumors, both chemo-naïve (n = 8) and pretreated (n = 3), showed a significantly higher incidence of MSI compared with the unselected series (45 versus 6% in at least one locus and 36 versus 0% in > or =2 of 8 loci, both P < or = 0.001). In 5 of all 11 unstable tumors, MSI correlated with immunohistochemical findings. This study demonstrates for the first time a positive correlation between MSI and treatment resistance in GCT.[1]


  1. Microsatellite instability of germ cell tumors is associated with resistance to systemic treatment. Mayer, F., Gillis, A.J., Dinjens, W., Oosterhuis, J.W., Bokemeyer, C., Looijenga, L.H. Cancer Res. (2002) [Pubmed]
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