Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are a marker for microsatellite instability in colorectal carcinoma

Thomas C. Smyrk, Patrice Watson, Karen Kaul, Henry T. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

282 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND. Cells with deficient DNA mismatch repair develop microsatellite instability. Extensive microsatellite instability (MSI-high) is characteristic of colorectal carcinomas in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC) and in 10-% 15% of sporadic colorectal carcinomas. Microsatellite instability-high colorectal carcinomas differ from others in important clinical and pathologic features. However, MSI typing is expensive and not widely available. Microsatellite instability type may be predicted by tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), which can be evaluated with ordinary light microscopy. METHODS. The authors evaluated TILs as a pathology screen for MSI-high status in 138 colorectal carcinomas that had been evaluated for MSI in a variety of studies. This case series was systematically enriched with HNPCC and other MSI-high cases to allow accurate sensitivity and specificity estimation. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were quantitated as TILs per 10 high-power microscopic fields by an observer blinded to MSI status. RESULTS. Of the 138 carcinomas studied, 67 (48.6%) were MSI-high, 22 (15.9%) were MSI-low, and 49 (35.5%) were MSI-stable. All 25 HNPCC colorectal carcinomas were MSI-high. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes counts ranged from 0 to 300, with a markedly skewed distribution (median, 11; mean, 36). Sensitivity and specificity for selected cut points of TIL count were computed. Using a TIL count of 5 as a cut point yields a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 62%. In a population in which 12% were MSI-high, consideration of TIL could reduce the number of colorectal carcinomas referred for MSI testing by greater than one-half, and still 93% of the MSI-high carcinomas would be identified. CONCLUSIONS. The presence of MSI defines a subset of colorectal carcinomas with special molecular etiology and characteristic clinical, pathologic features, inclusive of increased survival. The authors conclude that quantification of TILs may provide a simple, single criterion for choosing which colorectal carcinomas are candidates for MSI testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2417-2422
Number of pages6
JournalCancer
Volume91
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2001
Externally publishedYes

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Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes
Microsatellite Instability
Colorectal Neoplasms
Lymphocyte Count
N-methylsuccinimide
Sensitivity and Specificity
DNA Repair-Deficiency Disorders
Carcinoma
DNA Mismatch Repair

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are a marker for microsatellite instability in colorectal carcinoma. / Smyrk, Thomas C.; Watson, Patrice; Kaul, Karen; Lynch, Henry T.

In: Cancer, Vol. 91, No. 12, 15.06.2001, p. 2417-2422.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smyrk, Thomas C. ; Watson, Patrice ; Kaul, Karen ; Lynch, Henry T. / Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are a marker for microsatellite instability in colorectal carcinoma. In: Cancer. 2001 ; Vol. 91, No. 12. pp. 2417-2422.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND. Cells with deficient DNA mismatch repair develop microsatellite instability. Extensive microsatellite instability (MSI-high) is characteristic of colorectal carcinomas in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC) and in 10-{\%} 15{\%} of sporadic colorectal carcinomas. Microsatellite instability-high colorectal carcinomas differ from others in important clinical and pathologic features. However, MSI typing is expensive and not widely available. Microsatellite instability type may be predicted by tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), which can be evaluated with ordinary light microscopy. METHODS. The authors evaluated TILs as a pathology screen for MSI-high status in 138 colorectal carcinomas that had been evaluated for MSI in a variety of studies. This case series was systematically enriched with HNPCC and other MSI-high cases to allow accurate sensitivity and specificity estimation. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were quantitated as TILs per 10 high-power microscopic fields by an observer blinded to MSI status. RESULTS. Of the 138 carcinomas studied, 67 (48.6{\%}) were MSI-high, 22 (15.9{\%}) were MSI-low, and 49 (35.5{\%}) were MSI-stable. All 25 HNPCC colorectal carcinomas were MSI-high. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes counts ranged from 0 to 300, with a markedly skewed distribution (median, 11; mean, 36). Sensitivity and specificity for selected cut points of TIL count were computed. Using a TIL count of 5 as a cut point yields a sensitivity of 93{\%} and specificity of 62{\%}. In a population in which 12{\%} were MSI-high, consideration of TIL could reduce the number of colorectal carcinomas referred for MSI testing by greater than one-half, and still 93{\%} of the MSI-high carcinomas would be identified. CONCLUSIONS. The presence of MSI defines a subset of colorectal carcinomas with special molecular etiology and characteristic clinical, pathologic features, inclusive of increased survival. The authors conclude that quantification of TILs may provide a simple, single criterion for choosing which colorectal carcinomas are candidates for MSI testing.",
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N2 - BACKGROUND. Cells with deficient DNA mismatch repair develop microsatellite instability. Extensive microsatellite instability (MSI-high) is characteristic of colorectal carcinomas in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC) and in 10-% 15% of sporadic colorectal carcinomas. Microsatellite instability-high colorectal carcinomas differ from others in important clinical and pathologic features. However, MSI typing is expensive and not widely available. Microsatellite instability type may be predicted by tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), which can be evaluated with ordinary light microscopy. METHODS. The authors evaluated TILs as a pathology screen for MSI-high status in 138 colorectal carcinomas that had been evaluated for MSI in a variety of studies. This case series was systematically enriched with HNPCC and other MSI-high cases to allow accurate sensitivity and specificity estimation. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were quantitated as TILs per 10 high-power microscopic fields by an observer blinded to MSI status. RESULTS. Of the 138 carcinomas studied, 67 (48.6%) were MSI-high, 22 (15.9%) were MSI-low, and 49 (35.5%) were MSI-stable. All 25 HNPCC colorectal carcinomas were MSI-high. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes counts ranged from 0 to 300, with a markedly skewed distribution (median, 11; mean, 36). Sensitivity and specificity for selected cut points of TIL count were computed. Using a TIL count of 5 as a cut point yields a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 62%. In a population in which 12% were MSI-high, consideration of TIL could reduce the number of colorectal carcinomas referred for MSI testing by greater than one-half, and still 93% of the MSI-high carcinomas would be identified. CONCLUSIONS. The presence of MSI defines a subset of colorectal carcinomas with special molecular etiology and characteristic clinical, pathologic features, inclusive of increased survival. The authors conclude that quantification of TILs may provide a simple, single criterion for choosing which colorectal carcinomas are candidates for MSI testing.

AB - BACKGROUND. Cells with deficient DNA mismatch repair develop microsatellite instability. Extensive microsatellite instability (MSI-high) is characteristic of colorectal carcinomas in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC) and in 10-% 15% of sporadic colorectal carcinomas. Microsatellite instability-high colorectal carcinomas differ from others in important clinical and pathologic features. However, MSI typing is expensive and not widely available. Microsatellite instability type may be predicted by tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), which can be evaluated with ordinary light microscopy. METHODS. The authors evaluated TILs as a pathology screen for MSI-high status in 138 colorectal carcinomas that had been evaluated for MSI in a variety of studies. This case series was systematically enriched with HNPCC and other MSI-high cases to allow accurate sensitivity and specificity estimation. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were quantitated as TILs per 10 high-power microscopic fields by an observer blinded to MSI status. RESULTS. Of the 138 carcinomas studied, 67 (48.6%) were MSI-high, 22 (15.9%) were MSI-low, and 49 (35.5%) were MSI-stable. All 25 HNPCC colorectal carcinomas were MSI-high. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes counts ranged from 0 to 300, with a markedly skewed distribution (median, 11; mean, 36). Sensitivity and specificity for selected cut points of TIL count were computed. Using a TIL count of 5 as a cut point yields a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 62%. In a population in which 12% were MSI-high, consideration of TIL could reduce the number of colorectal carcinomas referred for MSI testing by greater than one-half, and still 93% of the MSI-high carcinomas would be identified. CONCLUSIONS. The presence of MSI defines a subset of colorectal carcinomas with special molecular etiology and characteristic clinical, pathologic features, inclusive of increased survival. The authors conclude that quantification of TILs may provide a simple, single criterion for choosing which colorectal carcinomas are candidates for MSI testing.

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