Early-onset colorectal cancer with stable microsatellite DNA and near-diploid chromosomes

T L Chan, L C Curtis, S Y Leung, S M Farrington, J W Ho, A S Chan, P W Lam, C W Tse, M G Dunlop, A H Wyllie, S T Yuen

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Colorectal cancer has been described in terms of genetic instability selectively affecting either microsatellite sequences (MIN) or chromosome number and structure (CIN). A subgroup with apparently stable, near-diploid chromosomes and stable microsatellites (MACS) also exists. These distinctions are important, partly because of their value in highlighting different pathways of carcinogenesis, and partly because of their direct relevance to prognosis. Study of early-onset cancer has often proved a fruitful resource for the identification of the nature and function of cancer susceptibility genes. In a study of colorectal cancer with stable microsatellite DNA, we describe 22 early-onset tumours (mean age=33), compared with 16 late-onset tumours (mean age=68). Both groups contained carcinomas with the MACS phenotype, characterized by near diploid DNA content, as defined by flow cytometry, and minimal chromosome arm deletion or amplification (six or less events per genome), determined by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). Minimal chromosome imbalance correlated strongly with diploid DNA content (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4871-6
Number of pages6
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2001


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Colorectal Neoplasms
  • Diploidy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Middle Aged


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