Aim: The purpose of the present study was to clarify the correlation between phenotypic expression of gastrointestinal differentiation markers and colorectal cancer behaviour, particularly invasion and hepatic metastasis.
Methods: Thirty-one cases of advanced colorectal adenocarcinoma (CRC) with liver metastasis were selected. Phenotypic patterns were evaluated immunohistochemically by means of antibodies to CD10, MUC2, and human gastric mucin (HGM).
Results: The incidence of MUC2 (45.2%) and HGM (16.1%) expression in CRCs with liver metastasis did not differ from non-metastatic CRCs. In contrast, the incidence of CD10 expression was significantly higher in CRCs with liver metastasis (58.1%) than in control CRCs (21.7%). Phenotypic expression in the liver metastasis carcinomas was similar to that of the primary lesions.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that cases of CRC with CD10 expression are at increased risk of liver metastasis. Even if there is no liver metastasis at laparotomy for CRC, careful follow-up is recommended for CRCs with CD10 expression.
(C) 2002 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia