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Hum Pathol. 2016 Jan;47(1):4-19. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2015.08.007. Epub 2015 Sep 3.

Tumor budding in colorectal cancer--ready for diagnostic practice?

Author information

1
Clinical Pathology Division, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland; Translational Research Unit, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland. Electronic address: viktor.koelzer@pathology.unibe.ch.
2
Translational Research Unit, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland.
3
Clinical Pathology Division, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland; Translational Research Unit, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland.

Abstract

Tumor budding is an important additional prognostic factor for patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Defined as the presence of single tumor cells or small clusters of up to 5 cells in the tumor stroma, tumor budding has been likened to an epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Based on well-designed retrospective studies, tumor budding is linked to adverse outcome of CRC patients in 3 clinical scenarios: (1) in malignant polyps, detection of tumor buds is a risk factor for lymph node metastasis indicating the need for colorectal surgery; (2) tumor budding in stage II CRC is a highly adverse prognostic indicator and may aid patient selection for adjuvant therapy; (3) in the preoperative setting, presence of tumor budding in biopsy material may help to identify high-risk rectal cancer patients for neoadjuvant therapy. However, lack of consensus guidelines for standardized assessment still limits reporting in daily diagnostic practice. This article provides a practical and comprehensive overview on tumor budding aimed at the practicing pathologist. First, we review the prognostic value of tumor budding for the management of colon and rectal cancer patients. Second, we outline a practical, evidence-based proposal for the assessment of tumor budding in the daily sign-out. Last, we summarize the current knowledge of the molecular characteristics of high-grade budding tumors in the context of personalized treatment approaches and biomarker discovery.

KEYWORDS:

Colorectal cancer; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Metastasis; Prognostic factor; Tumor budding

PMID:
26476568
DOI:
10.1016/j.humpath.2015.08.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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