Poorly differentiated clusters (PDC) are aggregates of at least five neoplastic cells lacking evidence of glandular differentiation. By definition, they can be present at the invasive front (peripheral PDC or pPDC) and within the tumor stroma (central PDC or cPDC). In colorectal cancer (CRC), PDC are considered adverse prognosticators and seem to reflect epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this study, we have investigated the immuno-expression of two EMT-related proteins, E-cadherin and β-catenin, in PDC of primary CRCs and matched liver metastases. pPDC always showed nuclear β-catenin staining and diffusely reduced/absence of E-cadherin expression as opposed cPDC which showed nuclear β-catenin immunoreactivity and E-cadherin expression in about 50% of cases. In addition, the pattern of β-catenin and E-cadherin expression differed between PDC and the main tumor, and between primary CRC and liver metastasis (LM), in a percentage of cases. A discordant pattern of β-catenin and E-cadherin expression between pPDC and cPDC, between main tumor and cPDC, and between primary CRC and LM, confirms that EMT is a dynamic and reversible process in CRC. On the overall, this suggests that pPDC and cPDC are biologically different. We may advocate that PDC develop at the tumor center (cPDC) and then some of them migrate towards the tumor periphery while progressively completing EMT process (pPDC). Based on these results, PDC presence and counting may have different prognostic relevance if the assessment is done at the invasive front of the tumor or in the intratumor stroma.

Poorly differentiated clusters (PDC) in colorectal cancer: Does their localization in tumor matter?

Mangogna A.
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2019

Abstract

Poorly differentiated clusters (PDC) are aggregates of at least five neoplastic cells lacking evidence of glandular differentiation. By definition, they can be present at the invasive front (peripheral PDC or pPDC) and within the tumor stroma (central PDC or cPDC). In colorectal cancer (CRC), PDC are considered adverse prognosticators and seem to reflect epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this study, we have investigated the immuno-expression of two EMT-related proteins, E-cadherin and β-catenin, in PDC of primary CRCs and matched liver metastases. pPDC always showed nuclear β-catenin staining and diffusely reduced/absence of E-cadherin expression as opposed cPDC which showed nuclear β-catenin immunoreactivity and E-cadherin expression in about 50% of cases. In addition, the pattern of β-catenin and E-cadherin expression differed between PDC and the main tumor, and between primary CRC and liver metastasis (LM), in a percentage of cases. A discordant pattern of β-catenin and E-cadherin expression between pPDC and cPDC, between main tumor and cPDC, and between primary CRC and LM, confirms that EMT is a dynamic and reversible process in CRC. On the overall, this suggests that pPDC and cPDC are biologically different. We may advocate that PDC develop at the tumor center (cPDC) and then some of them migrate towards the tumor periphery while progressively completing EMT process (pPDC). Based on these results, PDC presence and counting may have different prognostic relevance if the assessment is done at the invasive front of the tumor or in the intratumor stroma.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3025188
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