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Gut. 2004 Apr;53(4):581-6.

Histological categorisation of fibrotic cancer stroma in advanced rectal cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery I, National Defence Medical College, Japan. ueno@me.ndmc.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Based on conflicting reports regarding the role of the fibrotic stromal response in cancer development--namely, that a desmoplastic reaction can favour either the host or the tumour--it is clear that the role of the stromal response is varied. We have classified the fibrotic stroma of rectal adenocarcinoma penetrating the muscularis propria, based on histologically identified stromal components.

METHODS:

Three categories of stroma were used: mature-when the stroma was composed of mature collagen fibres (fine and elongated fibres into multiple layers); intermediate-when keloid-like collagen was intermingled with mature fibres; and immature-consisting of a myxoid stroma in which no mature fibres were included.

RESULTS:

In a data set of 862 patients, 53% of patients had mature fibrotic cancer stroma, 33% had intermediate stroma, and 15% had immature stroma. Five year survival rates decreased as follows: mature stroma (80%), intermediate stroma (55%), and immature stroma (27%). The adverse tumour phenotype, tumour cell budding (conspicuous isolated cells or small clusters of cancer cells), was observed in the cancer fronts in tumours with unfavourable fibrotic stroma (p<0.0001). Based on multivariate analysis, categorised fibrotic stroma was selected as an independent prognostic parameter (hazard ratio 1.39; 95% confidence interval 1.17-1.64) together with tumour differentiation. By immunohistochemical examination, as maturation of the fibrotic stroma decreased, stromal T cells became significantly sparser. Furthermore, myofibroblasts were distributed extensively in immature fibrotic stroma compared with mature and intermediate fibrotic stroma.

CONCLUSION:

The morphological categorisation of fibrotic cancer stroma highlights the role of the stromal response in relation to the behaviour and host immune reactions of rectal adenocarcinoma and would be a useful tool for predicting patient prognostic outcome.

PMID:
15016755
PMCID:
PMC1774016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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