Identifying Stage B colorectal cancer patients at high risk of tumor recurrence and death

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PURPOSE:This study was designed to determine clinical and pathologic variables associated with poor outcome following resection of Stage B colorectal cancer.METHODS:This was a retrospective study of 117 patients with Stage B cancer who underwent curative surgery and survived the postoperative period. Fourteen clinical and pathologic features were studied. Clinical data were extracted from a prospective colorectal cancer database, and histologic slides were retreived and examined by a pathologist blinded as to clinical details and outcome.RESULTS:After a median follow-up period of 8.2 years, bowel obstruction was significantly related to a poor prognosis (log-rank test; P=0.03). Extensive necrosis (P=0.01) and perineural invasion (P= 0.03) were also associated with decreased survival. Vascular invasion was associated with poor long-term outcome in the subgroup of patients with rectal (P=0.07) but not colonic (P=0.57) cancer. Multivariate regression analysis identified both tumor necrosis (P=0.01) and perineural invasion (P=0.03) as independently related to outcome.CONCLUSION:Further study of prognostic indicators might result in an algorithm to distinguish Stage B cases at high risk of tumor recurrence and death. Such patients could be included in future trials of adjuvant therapies.

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