A scoping review and meta-analysis on the prevalence of pan-tumour biomarkers (dMMR, MSI, high TMB) in different solid tumours

Yoon Jung Kang, Sophie O’Haire, Fanny Franchini, Maarten IJzerman, John Zalcberg, Finlay Macrae, Karen Canfell, Julia Steinberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Immune checkpoint inhibitors have been approved in the USA for tumours exhibiting mismatch repair deficiency (dMMR), microsatellite instability (MSI), or high tumour mutational burden (TMB), with regulatory and reimbursement applications in multiple other countries underway. As the estimated budget impacts of future reimbursements depend on the size of the potential target population, we performed a scoping review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of these pan-tumour biomarkers in different cancers. We systematically searched Medline/Embase and included studies reporting the prevalence of dMMR/MSI/high TMB in solid tumours published 01/01/2018–31/01/2021. Meta-analyses were performed separately for the pan-cancer prevalence of each biomarker, and by cancer type and stage where possible. The searches identified 3890 papers, with 433 prevalence estimates for 32 different cancer types from 201 studies included in meta-analyses. The pooled overall prevalence of dMMR, MSI and high TMB (≥ 10 mutations/Mb) in pan-cancer studies was 2.9%, 2.7% and 14.0%, respectively. The prevalence profiles of dMMR/MSI and high TMB differed across cancer types. For example, endometrial, colorectal, small bowel and gastric cancers showed high prevalence of both dMMR and MSI (range: 8.7–26.8% and 8.5–21.9%, respectively) and high TMB (range: 8.5–43.0%), while cervical, esophageal, bladder/urothelial, lung and skin cancers showed low prevalence of dMMR and MSI (< 5%), but high prevalence of high TMB (range: 23.7–52.6%). For other cancer types, prevalence of all three biomarkers was generally low (< 5%). This structured review of dMMR/MSI/high TMB prevalence across cancers and for specific cancer types and stages provide timely evidence to inform budget impact forecasts in health technology assessments for drug approvals based on these pan-tumour biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20495
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


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