NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,466 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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microsatellite instability
(MY-kroh-SA-teh-lite in-stuh-BIH-lih-tee)
A change that occurs in certain cells (such as cancer cells) in which the number of repeated DNA bases in a microsatellite (a short, repeated sequence of DNA) is different from what it was when the microsatellite was inherited. Microsatellite instability may be caused by mistakes that don’t get corrected when DNA is copied in a cell. It is found most often in colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, and endometrial cancer, but it may also be found in many other types of cancer. Knowing whether a cancer has microsatellite instability may help plan the best treatment. Also called MSI.