EBV and MSI status in gastric cancer: does it matter?

Catarina Neto do Nascimento, Luís Mascarenhas-Lemos, João Ricardo Silva, Diogo Sousa Marques, Catarina Ferreira Gouveia, Ana Faria, Sónia Velho, Rita Garrido, Rui Maio, Andreia Costa, Patrícia Pontes, Xiaogang Wen, Irene Gullo, Marília Cravo, Fátima Carneiro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



We investigated the impactof microsatellite instability (MSI) and Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) status in gastric cancer (GC), regarding response to perioperative chemotherapy (POPChT), overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS). We included 137 cases of operated GC, 51 of which were submitted to POPChT. MSI status was determined by multiplex PCR and EBV status by EBV-encoded RNA in situ hybridization. Thirty-seven (27%) cases presented as MSI-high, and seven (5.1%) were EBV+. Concerning tumor regression after POPChT, no differences were observed between the molecular subtypes, but females were more likely to respond (p = 0.062). No significant differences were found in OS or PFS between different subtypes. In multivariate analysis, age (HR 1.02, IC 95% 1.002–1.056, p = 0.033) and positive lymph nodes (HR 1.82, IC 95% 1.034–3.211, p = 0.038) were the only prognostic factors for OS. However, females with MSI-high tumors treated with POPChT demonstrated a significantly increased OS compared to females with MSS tumors (p = 0.031). In conclusion, we found a high proportion of MSI-high cases. MSI and EBV status did not influence OS or PFS either in patients submitted to POPChT or surgery alone. However, superior survival of females with MSI-high tumors suggests that sex disparities and molecular classification may influence treatment options in GC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Epstein–Barr virus
  • Females
  • Gastric cancer
  • Gender
  • Microsatellite instability
  • Molecular subtype
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Perioperative chemotherapy predictor
  • Prognosis


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