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Oncology. 2007;73(1-2):52-7. doi: 10.1159/000120628. Epub 2008 Mar 11.

Colorectal cancer or colon and rectal cancer? Clinicopathological comparison between colonic and rectal carcinomas.

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  • 1Gastrointestinal Surgery Unit, Peking University School of Oncology, Beijing Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing, China.



The aim of this study was to compare features of colon and rectal cancers such as prognosis, clinicopathological features and tumor markers, namely carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and p27(kip1).


Two hundred and thirty patients with stage I-III colon or rectal cancer were retrospectively assessed with the endpoint of recurrence or metastasis after curative operation. CEA, MMP-2 and p27(kip1) were studied by immunohistochemistry in cancer tissues of all patients.


The disease-free 3-year survival rate after operation of the total 230 patients was 63.0%. The prognosis of colon cancer was significantly better than that of rectal cancer (70.6 vs. 57.0%; p = 0.017), especially for stage III (p = 0.0059). Multivariate analysis also demonstrated that tumor location in the colon or rectum, differentiation, venous invasion and the expression of CEA were independent factors for prognosis. The hazard of recurrence and metastasis in rectal cancer was 1.564 times that in colon cancer. In both groups, there were no statistical differences in age, gender, tumor size, tumor gross type, mucin production, tumor differentiation, venous invasion, MMP-2 and p27(kip1).


We investigated prognosis, clinicopathological factors, oncogenes and tumor suppressor gene production in colon and rectal cancers. The prognosis of colon cancer is better than that of rectal cancer, especially for stage III. This study shows some differences between colon and rectal cancer.

(c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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