Mismatch repair deficiency and response to immune checkpoint blockade

Valerie Lee, Adrian Murphy, Dung T. Le, Luis A. Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


More than 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2016, resulting in more than 500,000 deaths. Although chemotherapy has been the mainstay of treatment in advanced cancers, immunotherapy development, particularly with PD-1 inhibitors, has changed the face of treatment for a number of tumor types. One example is the subset of tumors characterized by mismatch repair deficiency and microsatellite instability that are highly sensitive to PD-1 blockade. Hereditary forms of cancer have been noted for more than a century, but the molecular changes underlying mismatch repair-deficient tumors and subsequent microsatellite unstable tumors was not known until the early 1990s. In this review article, we discuss the history and pathophysiology of mismatch repair, the process of testing for mismatch repair deficiency and microsatellite instability, and the role of immunotherapy in this subset of cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200-1211
Number of pages12
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2016


  • Colonic neoplasms
  • Colorectal neoplasms
  • DNA mismatch repair
  • Hereditary nonpolyposis
  • Immunotherapy
  • Microsatellite instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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