A Comprehensive Study of Extramural Venous Invasion in Colorectal Cancer

David McClelland, Graeme I Murray

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Colorectal cancer is a common malignancy and a leading cause of cancer related death. Cancer staging following resection is key to determining any adjuvant therapy in those patients with high risk disease. In colorectal cancer, tumour stage and lymph node stage are the main pathological factors which have been considered to influence outcome. Increasing emphasis is now being placed on other factors, especially the presence of extramural venous invasion (EMVI). It is important to understand the relationship of EMVI with other pathological factors and to confirm that in an individual centre that EMVI is being detected at an appropriate rate and is of prognostic significance. This comprehensive study assesses the reporting and prognostic significance of EMVI in a single centre, using prospectively collected data from histopathology reports of a cohort of 2405 patients who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer over a nine year period. Overall, EMVI was reported in 27.9% of colorectal cancer excision specimens. In tumours (n = 1928) that had not received neoadjuvant therapy, the presence of EMVI varied significantly depending on tumour site (χ2 = 12.03, p<0.005), tumour stage (χ2 = 268.188, p<0.001), lymph node stage (χ2 = 294.368, p<0.001) and Dukes' stage (χ2 = 253.753, p<0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed EMVI as a significant independent prognostic indicator (p<0.001). In conclusion, the presence of EMVI as an independent prognostic indicator is shown and is related to other pathological and prognostic factors. This study emphasises the requirement for the accurate identification of EMVI in colorectal cancer excision specimens and also understanding the relationship of EMVI with other prognostic factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0144987
Number of pages20
JournalPloS ONE
Issue number12
Early online date15 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015


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