Clinical impact of non-predominant histopathological subtypes on the long-term prognosis of colorectal cancer patients in Japan

Colorectal Cancer

Int J Colorectal Dis. 2020 Aug 8. doi: 10.1007/s00384-020-03707-7. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: We performed a retrospective study to clarify the long-term prognosis of patients with histopathological high-grade colorectal cancer (CRC).

METHODS: We reviewed data from 24 institutions for 18,360 patients with pStage I to III CRC who had undergone curative surgery between 2004 and 2012. The patients were classified into seven groups according to the proportion of the histopathological component: classical adenocarcinoma (CAC) group, M-l and M-h groups (< 50% and ≥ 50% mucinous adenocarcinoma, respectively), P-l and P-h groups (< 50% and ≥ 50% poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, respectively), and S-l and S-h groups (< 50% and ≥ 50% signet-ring cell carcinoma (SRCC), respectively).

RESULTS: The 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates of the M-l, P-l, and S-l groups were 75.5%, 68.4%, and 52.4%, respectively, and were significantly lower than those of the CAC group (83.5%, hazard ratio [HR] 1.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.48, p = 0.0365; HR 1.60, 95% CI 1.32-1.91, p < 0.0001; HR 2.61, 95% CI 1.30-4.57, p = 0.0090, respectively). The 5-year RFS of the P-l and S-l groups was as poor as that of the P-h and S-h groups, respectively (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.68-1.10, p = 0.25; HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.37-2.13, p = 0.81, respectively). The histopathological component of the S-l group was an independent factor affecting overall survival in multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSION: The long-term prognoses of the non-predominant poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (PAC) groups were as poor as those of the predominant group. In particular, the histopathological component of the P-l and S-l groups could be classified into predominant PAC and SRCC subtypes for appropriate prognostic predictions.