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Br J Cancer. 1989 Sep;60(3):382-4.

Human chorionic gonadotropin in colorectal cancer and its relationship to prognosis.

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Department of Surgery II, School of Medicine, Kanazawa University, Japan.


The presence of human chorionic gonadotropin in large bowel cancers was studied immunohistochemically using an immunoperoxidase technique. HCG-positive tumour cells were present in 42 of 194 adenocarcinomas examined (22.0% of colon cancer and 21.2% of rectal cancers). On histological grading, the hCG-positive rate tended to rise as the degree of differentiation decreased. HCG was detected more frequently in cancers invading the total bowel wall (27%) than in those invading the partial wall (17.1%). Lymph node, liver or peritoneal metastases were present more frequently in hCG-positive tumours than in hCG-negative tumours. Furthermore, there was an intimate correlation between the presence of hCG-positive tumour cells and CEA doubling times in nine cases with untreated liver metastasis. The survival rate for patients with tissue hCG-positive cells was lower than for those with hCG-negative tumours. Thus, the presence of tissue hCG in colorectal cancers may be a biological marker of prognostic significance.

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