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Histopathology. 2002 Apr;40(4):327-34.

Clinicopathological significance of the 'keloid-like' collagen and myxoid stroma in advanced rectal cancer.

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Department of Surgery I, National Defence Medical College, Saitama, Japan.



To establish the histological categorization of fibrotic stroma which reflects the biological behaviour of advanced rectal cancer.


Six hundred and twenty-seven surgically resected cases of advanced rectal carcinoma were examined. We histologically categorized fibrotic stroma in the invasive frontal region into three groups: type A, multiple fine and mature fibres were stratified into layers; type B, broad bands of eosinophilic hyalinized collagen ('keloid-like' collagen) were intermingled; type C, myxoid stroma. Type A stroma was observed in 63% of patients, type B stroma in 25%, type C stroma in 12%. The incidence of type A stroma decreased in accordance with Dukes stage (98% in Dukes A; 73% in B; 41% in C1; 29% in C2) and conversely, there was an increase of C type (0% in Dukes A; 4% in B; 20% in C1; 54% in C2). Stroma type had a significant correlation with long-term survival (80% of 5-year survival in type A stroma; 54% in type B; 26% in type C). Based on multivariate analysis, it was found that the stromal pattern had independent prognostic value, together with nodal involvement, growth pattern, and lymphocyte infiltration.


Tumour fibrotic stroma may play an important role as a regulator of neoplastic behaviour. Pathological categorization of the fibrotic stroma is helpful for predicting the prognostic outcome of patients with rectal carcinoma.

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