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The Importance of Testing for MSI Status in Gastric Cancers

Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD
Published Online:6:07 PM, Mon May 7, 2018

Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the importance of testing for microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) status in patients with gastric cancers.

While MSI-H is a rare subset of gastric cancers, it is important to determine MSI status early on in treatment. Patients with MSI-H tumors can have a life-changing response to immune checkpoint inhibitors, says Janjigian.

This can be identified a number of ways, including next-generation sequencing panels looking at mutation burden. Some commercially- and academically-implemented panels now list mutation burden, Janjigian notes. Even patients found with a higher rate of mutational burden, while not meeting MSI-H criteria, still have a better chance of responding to therapy than others.
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