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Novel internationally verified method reports desmoplastic reaction as the most significant prognostic feature for disease-specific survival in stage II colorectal cancer

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Ines P. Nearchou, Yoshiki Kajiwara, Satsuki Mochizuki, David James Harrison, Peter David Caie, Hideki Ueno

School/Research organisations


Multiple histopathologic features have been reported as candidates for predicting aggressive stage II colorectal cancer (CRC). These include tumor budding (TB), poorly differentiated clusters (PDC), Crohn-like lymphoid reaction and desmoplastic reaction (DR) categorization. Although their individual prognostic significance has been established, their association with disease-specific survival (DSS) has not been compared in stage II CRC. This study aimed to evaluate and compare the prognostic value of the above features in a Japanese (n=283) and a Scottish (n=163) cohort, as well as to compare 2 different reporting methodologies: analyzing each feature from across every tissue slide from the whole tumor and a more efficient methodology reporting each feature from a single slide containing the deepest tumor invasion. In the Japanese cohort, there was an excellent agreement between the multi-slide and single-slide methodologies for TB, PDC, and DR (κ=0.798 to 0.898) and a good agreement when assessing Crohn-like lymphoid reaction (κ=0.616). TB (hazard ratio [HR]=1.773; P=0.016), PDC (HR=1.706; P=0.028), and DR (HR=2.982; P<0.001) based on the single-slide method were all significantly associated with DSS. DR was the only candidate feature reported to be a significant independent prognostic factor (HR=2.982; P<0.001) with both multi-slide and single-slide methods. The single-slide result was verified in the Scottish cohort, where multivariate Cox regression analysis reported that DR was the only significant independent feature (HR=1.778; P=0.002) associated with DSS. DR was shown to be the most significant of all the analyzed histopathologic features to predict disease-specific death in stage II CRC. We further show that analyzing the features from a single-slide containing the tumor’s deepest invasion is an efficient and quicker method of evaluation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1239-1248
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number9
Early online date14 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • Desmoplastic reaction, Tumour budding, Poorly differentiated clusters, Prognosis, Colorectal cancer

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