Cancer cell morphology at the invasive front and expression of cell adhesion-related carbohydrate in the primary lesion of patients with colorectal carcinoma with liver metastasis

Masaya Ono, Michiie Sakamoto, Yoshinori Ino, Yoshihiro Moriya, Kenichi Sugihara, Tetsuichiro Muto, Setsuo Hirohashi

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116 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND. Liver metastasis from colorectal carcinoma is an important problem in surgical treatment and profoundly affects the prognosis of patients. If it were possible to identify characteristic features in the primary lesion strongly related to liver metastasis, these could be used as prognostic markers for liver metastasis. To search for such features, the primary lesions of patients with colorectal carcinoma with liver metastasis were investigated. METHODS. Three groups of colorectal carcinoma were examined: Group A with synchronous liver metastases; Group B with only lymph node metastases without recurrence for 5 years; and Group C with recurrence of liver metastases. Groups A and B included 24 cases and Group C, 20. We focused on cancer cell morphology at the invasive front and expression of sialyl Lewis X (sialyl Le(x)) in the primary cancer. RESULTS. At the invasive front in Group A it was frequently found that polygonal, not columnar, cancer cells with a single or solitary trabecular form with indistinct polarity, showed an infiltrative growth pattern. This type of morphology was termed 'focal dedifferentiation' and graded four levels. Eleven of 24 cases (46%) had severe focal dedifferentiation in Group A, 1 of 24 (4%) in Group B, and 6 of 20 (30%) in Group C. Sialyl Le(x) staining was positive in 12 of 24 cases (50%) in Group A, in 3 of 24 cases (13%) in Group B, and in 7 of 20 cases (35%) in Group C in the primary carcinoma. In respect to the staining of (sialyl Le(x)) at focal dedifferentiation, it was positive in 17 of 24 cases (71%) in Group A, in 4 of 24 cases (17%) in Group B and in 11 of 20 cases (55%) in Group C. Focal dedifferentiation and sialyl Le(x) staining in the primary cancer showed a significant difference between Groups A and B. Sialyl Le(x) staining at focal dedifferentiation showed a significant difference between Groups A and B and Groups B and C. Other adhesion related molecules, sialyl Le(A) and CEA, showed no difference among Groups A, B, and C. CONCLUSIONS. Both focal dedifferentiation and expression of sialyl Le(x) antigen in the primary lesion are considered good markers for assessing the metastatic proclivity of colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1186
Number of pages8
JournalCancer
Volume78
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Sep 15
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • colorectal cancer
  • focal dedifferentiation
  • liver metastasis
  • sialyl Lewis X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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