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World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Jun 14;15(22):2708-13.

Size does not determine the grade of malignancy of early invasive colorectal cancer.

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Endoscopy Division, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.



To clarify the clinicopathological characteristics of small and large early invasive colorectal cancers (EI-CRCs), and to determine whether malignancy grade depends on size.


A total of 583 consecutive EI-CRCs treated by endoscopic mucosal resection or surgery at the National Cancer Center Hospital between 1980 and 2004 were enrolled in this study. Lesions were classified into two groups based on size: small (<or= 10 mm) and large (> 10 mm). Clinicopathological features, incidence of lymph node metastasis (LNM) and risk factors for LNM, such as depth of invasion, lymphovascular invasion (LVI) and poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (PDA) were analyzed in all resected specimens.


There were 120 (21%) small and 463 (79%) large lesions. Histopathological analysis of the small lesion group revealed submucosal deep cancer (sm: >or= 1000 microm) in 90 (75%) cases, LVI in 26 (22%) cases, and PDA in 12 (10%) cases. Similarly, the large lesion group exhibited submucosal deep cancer in 380 (82%) cases, LVI in 125 (27%) cases, and PDA in 79 (17%) cases. The rate of LNM was 11.2% and 12.1% in the small and large lesion groups, respectively.


Small EI-CRC demonstrated the same aggressiveness and malignant potential as large cancer.

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