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Association Between Molecular Subtypes of Colorectal Tumors and Patient Survival, Based on Pooled Analysis of 7 International Studies.
Pubmed ID
32088204 (View this publication on the PubMed website)
Digital Object Identifier
Gastroenterology. 2020 Jun; Volume 158 (Issue 8): Pages 2158-2168.e4

Phipps AI, Alwers E, Harrison T, Banbury B, Brenner H, Campbell PT, Chang-Claude J, Buchanan D, Chan AT, Farris AB, Figueiredo JC, Gallinger S, Giles GG, Jenkins M, Milne RL, Newcomb PA, Slattery ML, Song M, Ogino S, Zaidi SH, Hoffmeister M, Peters U


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The heterogeneity among colorectal tumors is probably due to differences in developmental pathways and might associate with patient survival times. We studied the relationship among markers of different subtypes of colorectal tumors and patient survival.

METHODS: We pooled data from 7 observational studies, comprising 5010 patients with colorectal cancer. All the studies collected information on microsatellite instability (MSI), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), and mutations in KRAS and BRAF in tumors. Tumors with complete marker data were classified as type 1 (MSI-high, CIMP-positive, with pathogenic mutations in BRAF but not KRAS), type 2 (not MSI-high, CIMP-positive, with pathogenic mutations in BRAF but not KRAS), type 3 (not MSI-high or CIMP, with pathogenic mutations in KRAS but not BRAF), type 4 (not MSI-high or CIMP, no pathogenic mutations in BRAF or KRAS), or type 5 (MSI-high, no CIMP, no pathogenic mutations in BRAF or KRAS). We used Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations of these subtypes and tumor markers with disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival times, adjusting for age, sex, stage at diagnosis, and study population.

RESULTS: Patients with type 2 colorectal tumors had significantly shorter time of DSS than patients with type 4 tumors (HRDSS 1.66; 95% CI 1.33-2.07), regardless of sex, age, or stage at diagnosis. Patients without MSI-high tumors had significantly shorter time of DSS compared with patients with MSI-high tumors (HRDSS 0.42; 95% CI 0.27-0.64), regardless of other tumor markers or stage, or patient sex or age.

CONCLUSIONS: In a pooled analysis of data from 7 observational studies of patients with colorectal cancer, we found that tumor subtypes, defined by combinations of 4 common tumor markers, were associated with differences in survival time. Colorectal tumor subtypes might therefore be used in determining patients' prognoses.

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