Madison, WI USA. (May 31, 2019)
Oncology researchers and clinicians seeking to deepen their understanding of Microsatellite Instability (MSI) have a new resource that gathers a wealth of information in one place, including the importance of MSI as a biomarker and methods of detection. Promega Corporation launched its MSI educational website Promega.com/MSIweb this week ahead of this weekend’s 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, the largest annual worldwide gathering of oncology professionals.
“Education on MSI and similar biomarkers is so important for physicians and patients to understand their treatment options,” says stage IV colorectal cancer survivor and patient consultant Stacy Hurt. “It’s the future of how cancer will be treated.”
Microsatellite Instability is the accumulation of insertion or deletion errors at microsatellite repeat sequences in cancerous cells as a result of a functional deficiency within one or more major DNA mismatch repair proteins (dMMR). Mononucleotide (homopolymer) repeat microsatellite sequences found throughout the genome are particularly sensitive to replication errors. Thus, the characterization of a tumor as being Microsatellite Instability-High (MSI-H) is considered a marker for the presence of mutations in, or methylation silencing of, certain major DNA MMR genes.
Historically MSI status and immunohistochemistry (IHC) have been used to screen for Lynch Syndrome, a dominant hereditary cancer propensity. Recently, MSI status has been rediscovered as a biomarker for immunotherapeutic response, with the US Food and Drug Administration making MSI-H status the first tumor agnostic biomarker for the identification of solid tumors appropriate for treatment with Merck’s immunotherapy drug Keytruda® (pembrolizumab).
“As biomarkers are being used more and more to guide treatment decisions, education is key,” says Andrew Nixon, Ph.D., MBA, Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University. “Increased use of validated biomarkers, such as MSI, will ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients.”
Recently, the European Society for Medical Oncology recommended the use of both MSI by PCR and MMR by IHC to assess the eligibility of treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors of metastatic colorectal cancer and other cancers of the Lynch Syndrome spectrum. Co-testing has been shown to be a cost effective and well-established approach to maximizing the sensitivity and specificity of MSI and dMMR screen of tumor tissue.
Explore more about MSI at Promega.com/MSIweb.
About Promega Corporation
Promega Corporation is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company’s 4,000 products enable scientists worldwide to advance their knowledge in genomics, proteomics, cellular analysis, drug discovery and human identification. Founded in 1978, the company is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 16 countries and over 50 global distributors. For more information about Promega, visit www.promega.com.