Efficacy of adjuvant 5-fluorouracil therapy for patients with emast-positive stage ii/iii colorectal cancer

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© 2015 Hamaya et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Elevated Microsatellite Alterations at Selected Tetranucleotide repeats (EMAST) is a genetic signature found in up to 60% of colorectal cancers (CRCs) that is caused by somatic dysfunction of the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) protein hMSH3. We have previously shown in vitro that recognition of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) within DNA and subsequent cytotoxicity was most effective when both hMutSα (hMSH2-hMSH6 heterodimer) and hMutSβ (hMSH2-hMSH3 heterodimer) MMR complexes were present, compared to hMutSα > hMutSβ alone. We tested if patients with EMAST CRCs (hMutSβ defective) had diminished response to adjuvant 5-FU chemotherapy, paralleling in vitro findings. We analyzed 230 patients with stage II/III sporadic colorectal cancers for which we had 5-FU treatment and survival data. Archival DNA was ana lyzed for EMAST ( > 2 of 5 markers mutated among UT5037, D8S321, D9S242, D20S82, D20S85 tetranucleotide loci). Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated and multivariate analysis was used to determine contribution to risk. We identified 102 (44%) EMAST cancers. Ninety-four patients (41%) received adjuvant 5-FU chemotherapy, and median follow-up for all patients was 51 months. Patients with EMAST CRCs demonstrated improved survival with adjuvant 5FU to the same extent as patients with non-EMAST CRCs (P < 0.05). We observed no difference in survival between patients with stage II/III EMAST and non-EMAST cancers (P = 0.36). There is improved survival for stage II/III CRC patients after adjuvant 5-FU-based chemotherapy regardless of EMAST status. The loss of contribution of hMSH3 for 5-FU cytotoxicity may not adversely affect patient outcome, contrasting patients whose tumors completely lack DNA MMR function (MSI-H).




Hamaya, Y., Guarinos, C., Tseng-Rogenski, S. S., Iwaizumi, M., Das, R., Jover, R., … Carethers, J. M. (2015). Efficacy of adjuvant 5-fluorouracil therapy for patients with emast-positive stage ii/iii colorectal cancer. PLoS ONE, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127591

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