Signet-ring cell carcinoma of colorectum-current perspectives and molecular biology
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Purpose Colorectal signet-ring cell carcinoma (SRCC) is rare, and very little detailed information on the molecular biology of the disease is available. Methods The literature on the clinical, pathological and, in particular, the molecular biology of this rare entity was critically reviewed. The reviewed articles take into account a total of 1,817 cases of SRCC, but only 143 cases have molecular data available. The characteristics of two patients with colorectal SRCC were also discussed. Results Colorectal SRCC mostly occurs in younger patients, is larger and has different site predilection compared with conventional colorectal adenocarcinoma. It can occur as one of the synchronous cancers in the colorectum. The cancer is usually diagnosed at advanced stages because of the late manifestation of symptoms, and aggressive treatment strategy is required. Limited reports in the literature have shown that the variant of colorectal cancer demonstrated a different pattern of genetic alterations of common growth kinase-related oncogenes (K-ras, BRAF), tumour suppressor genes (p53, p16), gene methylation and cell adhesion-related genes related to the Wingless signalling pathway (E-cadherin and beta-catenin) from conventional colorectal adenocarcinoma. Colorectal SRCC also showed high expression of mucin-related genes and genes related to the gastrointestinal system. There was also a higher prevalence of microsatellite instability-high tumours and low Cox-2 expression in colorectal SRCC as opposed to conventional adenocarcinoma. Conclusions Colorectal SRCC has unique molecular pathological features. The unique molecular profiles in SRCC may provide molecular-based improvements to patient management in colorectal SRCC.
International Journal of Colorectal Disease
Copyright 2010 Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. This is an electronic version of an article published in International Journal of Colorectal Disease Volume, Issue, 1-7, 2010. International Journal of Colorectal Disease is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ with the open URL of your article.