NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,467 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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microsatellite instability-high cancer
(MY-kroh-SA-teh-lite in-stuh-BIH-lih-tee-hy KAN-ser)
Describes cancer cells that have a greater than normal number of genetic markers called microsatellites. Microsatellites are short, repeated, sequences of DNA. Cancer cells that have large numbers of microsatellites may have defects in the ability to correct mistakes that occur when DNA is copied in the cell. Microsatellite instability is found most often in colorectal cancer, other types of gastrointestinal cancer, and endometrial cancer. It may also be found in cancers of the breast, prostate, bladder, and thyroid. Knowing whether cancer is microsatellite instability high may help plan the best treatment. Also called MSI-H cancer.