Immunohistochemistry testing for mismatch repair deficiency in Stage 2 colon cancer: A cohort study of two cancer centres

Matthew Grant, Andrew Haydon, Lewis Au, Simon Wilkins, Karen Oliva, Eva Segelov, Yoland Antill, Peter Carne, Pravin Ranchod, Adrian Polglase, Chip Farmer, Martin Chin, Roger Wale, Paul Simpson, Stephen Bell, Stewart Skinner, Paul McMurrick, Jeremy Shapiro

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Objectives: Adjuvant chemotherapy for Stage II colon cancer offers a small (2-3%) overall survival benefit and is not universally recommended. Mismatch repair deficiency (dMMR) confers an improved prognosis identifying patients unlikely to benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of dMMR immunohistochemistry in two major cancer treatment centres. Methods: Prospective data were collected on all patients with resected Stage II colon cancer between 2010 and 2015 across two large Australian hospitals. Data collected included patient demographics, tumour histology, dMMR immunohistochemistry, chemotherapy use, and outcomes. Results: All 355 patients (56.1% female, median age 81) with resected Stage 2 Colon cancer entered on to the surgical database were included in this analysis. MMR testing was performed on 167 patient samples (47%), most occurred post-2013 (73.1% vs. 26.9% patients). dMMR rates were 34.1%. 25 (7.3%) received adjuvant chemotherapy, with no patient >80 years receiving treatment. Presence of ≥2 high-risk feature increased the likelihood of adjuvant chemotherapy. Only 3.6% dMMR patients received chemotherapy; both were young with high-risk features. 27/288 (7.6%) patients (with follow up) relapsed, with 7 disease-free post-resection of metastatic disease, 9 are alive with metastatic disease, and 11 deceased. Conclusions: Unlike clinical trial populations, Stage 2 colon cancer patients are often elderly, have high rates of dMMR tumours, are rarely offered chemotherapy, yet still have excellent outcomes. dMMR immunohistochemistry is being increasingly used to identify Stage 2 patients who do not require chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Chemotherapy
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mismatch repair deficiency

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