J Pathol Transl Med.  2018 Nov;52(6):386-395. 10.4132/jptm.2018.10.02.

Multiplicity of Advanced T Category–Tumors Is a Risk Factor for Survival in Patients with Colorectal Carcinoma

  • 1Department of Pathology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. ghkang@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Laboratory of Epigenetics, Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Previous studies on synchronous colorectal carcinoma (SCRC) have reported inconsistent results about its clinicopathologic and molecular features and prognostic significance.
Forty-six patients with multiple advanced tumors (T2 or higher category) who did not receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and who are not associated with familial adenomatous polyposis were selected and 99 tumors from them were subjected to clinicopathologic and molecular analysis. Ninety-two cases of solitary colorectal carcinoma (CRC) were selected as a control considering the distributions of types of surgeries performed on patients with SCRC and T categories of individual tumors from SCRC.
SCRC with multiple advanced tumors was significantly associated with more frequent nodal metastasis (p = .003) and distant metastasis (p = .001) than solitary CRC. KRAS mutation, microsatellite instability, and CpG island methylator phenotype statuses were not different between SCRC and solitary CRC groups. In univariate survival analysis, overall and recurrence-free survival were significantly lower in patients with SCRC than in patients with solitary CRC, even after adjusting for the extensiveness of surgical procedure, adjuvant chemotherapy, or staging. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that tumor multiplicity was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (hazard ratio, 4.618; 95% confidence interval, 2.126 to 10.030; p < .001), but not for recurrence-free survival (p = .151).
Findings suggested that multiplicity of advanced T category-tumors might be associated with an increased risk of nodal metastasis and a risk factor for poor survival, which raises a concern about the guideline of American Joint Committee on Cancer's tumor-node-metastasis staging that T staging of an index tumor determines T staging of SCRC.


Synchronous colorectal carcinoma; Multiple colorectal carcinoma; Clinical outcome; T category

MeSH Terms

Adenomatous Polyposis Coli
Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
Colorectal Neoplasms*
CpG Islands
Drug Therapy
Microsatellite Instability
Neoplasm Metastasis
Risk Factors*
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