Colorectal carcinomas (CRCs) infiltrating through the muscularis propria layer without infiltration of adjacent structures, organs or the serosa-i.e. the pT3 tumors, compose the largest subset of large intestinal carcinomas treated by surgical resection. They are heterogeneous in terms of prognosis. CRCs treated by surgery in a period of 69 months were prospectively classified as pT3a tumors (invading to a maximum of 5 mm beyond the muscularis propria) and pT3b tumors (invading deeper). Their nodal status, incidence of vascular invasion and the presence or absence of distant metastases were analyzed in relation to the depth of invasion. Of the 593 CRCs primarily treated by surgery 429 were pT3 tumors. CRCs categorized as pT3a had significantly lower rates of nodal involvement (44% vs 75%), massive nodal involvement (pN2) (9% vs 39%), venous invasion (17% vs 30%) and distant metastasis (11% vs 28%) than pT3b tumors. Significant differences in these prognostic variables in pT3a and pT3b cancers were observed both for carcinomas of the colon and those of the rectum. Such differences were not obvious in further 66 ypT3 cases of rectal carcinoma receiving neoadjuvant treatment before surgery. Tumors in the pT3a category are associated with a better prognostic profile than pT3b tumors. This subdivision might be useful in both prognostication and treatment planning.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cancer Research