PURPOSE: Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at chromosome 18q frequently occurs late during colon cancer development and is inversely associated with microsatellite instability (MSI). 18q LOH has been reported to predict shorter survival in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas MSI-high status has been associated with superior prognosis. However, it is unclear whether 18q LOH in colorectal cancer has any prognostic implication independent of MSI status and other potential predictors of clinical outcome.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Among 555 non-MSI-high colorectal cancers (stage I to IV) in two independent prospective cohort studies, we examined 18q LOH in relation to other molecular events and patient survival. Cox proportional hazard models computed hazard ratio of death, adjusted for clinical and tumoral characteristics, including KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, beta-catenin, p53, CpG island methylator phenotype, LINE-1 methylation, and John Cunningham (JC) virus T antigen.
RESULTS: In multivariate logistic regression, 18q LOH was independently associated with JC virus T antigen (odds ratio [OR] = 1.93; P = .0077), body mass index > or = 30 kg/m(2) (obesity; OR = 2.01; P = .014), high tumor grade (OR = 0.40; P = .018), KRAS mutation (OR = 0.66; P = .40), and LINE-1 hypomethylation (for a 30% decrease; OR = 1.92; P = .045). Five-year colorectal cancer-specific survival was 75% among patients with 18q LOH-positive tumors and 74% among those with 18q LOH-negative tumors (log-rank P = .80). Five-year overall survival was 70% among patients with 18q LOH-positive tumors and 68% among those with 18q LOH-negative tumors (log-rank P = .54). Multivariate analysis did not show prognostic significance of 18q LOH.
CONCLUSION: In our large prospective study of patients with non-MSI-high colorectal cancer, 18q LOH or allelic imbalance was not associated with patient survival.
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