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Predictive value of microsatellite instability for benefit from adjuvant fluorouracil chemotherapy in colorectal cancer
  1. B Iacopetta1,
  2. T Watanabe2
  1. 1School of Surgery and Pathology, University of Western Australia, Western Australia, Australia
  2. 2Department of Surgery, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr B Iacopetta
    School of Surgery and Pathology M507, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands 6009, Australia; barry.iacopetta{at}

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We read with interest the study by Jover and colleagues (Gut 2006;55:848–55) on the predictive value of the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) or microsatellite instability (MSI) phenotype for response of colorectal cancer patients to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy. We are concerned however about the conclusion reached by the authors and the accompanying commentary (Gut 2006;55:759–61) that MSI status should be considered in decisions on the use of 5-FU. While the clinical utility of MSI status for screening of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is unquestioned, we are of the opinion that currently available data cannot justify exclusion of patients with MSI tumours from receiving 5-FU treatment.

The authors state that “5-FU based chemotherapy may not be useful in stage II and III MMR deficient colorectal cancer and a revision …

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  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

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