NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,492 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 high number of mutations (changes) within microsatellites. For example, microsatellite testing that shows mutations in 30% or more microsatellites is called microsatellite instability-high. Microsatellites are short, repeated sequences of DNA. Microsatellite instability-high cancer cells may have a defect in the ability to correct mistakes that occur when DNA is copied in the cell. Microsatellite instability 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 cancer is microsatellite instability-high may help plan the best treatment. Also called MSI-H cancer.