Skip Navigation LinksHome > July 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 > Advances in Surgical Pathology: Colorectal Carcinoma and Tum...
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Advances in Anatomic Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000028
Book Review

Advances in Surgical Pathology: Colorectal Carcinoma and Tumors of the Vermiform Appendix

Renshaw, Andrew MD

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Author Information

Baptist HospitalMiami, FL

The author has no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

  • Author: Yantiss R.K.
  • Publishers: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  • Year/ISBN: 2014, 978-1-4511-8277-4
  • Price: $149.99
  • Pages: 317


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This is the sixth text in the Advances in Surgical Pathology Series that was edited by Drs Philip T. Cagle and Timothy C. Allen. As in previous texts in this series, this publication “focuses on a specific subject in pathology that has undergone recent advancement in terms of knowledge, technical procedures, application, and/or integration as part of current trends in pathology and medicine.” Although colorectal carcinoma is a common surgical pathology diagnosis and most general pathologists have abundant experience evaluating colorectal resection specimens, this text succinctly covers the many recent advances that have been made in this area.

The text includes sections on cancer precursors, pathologic features, molecular features, and management of colorectal carcinomas, as well as a separate section on tumors of the vermiform appendix. The section on precursors includes a nice summary of the wide variety of colon polyps as well as an overview on inflammatory bowel disease. This includes a listing of different risks of carcinoma associated with each of these entities. The section on pathologic features includes a nice review of the difficult areas of staging colorectal carcinomas and includes references to where standards endorsed by different organizations (including the AJCC/TNM 7th edition Cancer Staging Manual and the CAP Tumor Summaries) still differ. For example, the criteria for stage T4a (serosal penetration) are similar but not identical in these standards, and this text does a nice job of illustrating what each standard would accept as stage T4a. Similarly, the text does a nice job of summarizing the many different criteria that have been used to define “Satellite Tumor Deposits” over time and points out when satellite tumor deposits should be staged separately as pN1c, when they should be combined with other positive lymph nodes, and when they should not be considered N category at all (large vein invasion and peritoneal seeding).

The section on molecular mechanisms of colorectal carcinoma succinctly reviews the major carcinoma pathways, including the APC/WNT (adenomatous polyposis coli) and mismatch repair deficiency and microsatellite instability pathways. This includes a practical review of how to actually test for these pathways on a routine basis. In addition, this section also discussed other molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis, including DNA methylation and microRNA expression.

Finally, the section on the vermiform appendix is most focused on neuroendocrine tumors (carcinoids and small cell carcinoma) and mucinous tumors. Although there remain a wide variety of terms for mucinous tumors, the criteria for evaluating these tumors seem similar despite the differences in terminology.

Overall, this text provides an excellent summary of the state of the art of the pathology of colorectal carcinoma in a relatively succinct and easy-to-read format.

Andrew Renshaw, MD
Baptist Hospital
Miami, FL

Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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