Published online Sep 14, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i34.5197
Peer-review started: July 1, 2019
First decision: August 2, 2019
Revised: August 12, 2019
Accepted: August 19, 2019
Article in press: August 19, 2019
Published online: September 14, 2019
Colorectal high-grade neuroendocrine neoplasms (HGNENs) are rare and constitute less than 1% of all colorectal malignancies. Based on their morphological differentiation and proliferation identity, these neoplasms present heterogeneous clinicopathologic features. Opinions regarding treatment strategies for and improvement of the clinical outcomes of these patients remain controversial.
To delineate the clinicopathologic features of and explore the prognostic factors for this rare malignancy.
This observational study reviewed the data of 72 consecutive patients with colorectal HGNENs from three Chinese hospitals between 2000 and 2019. The clinicopathologic characteristics and follow-up data were carefully collected from their medical records, outpatient reexaminations, and telephone interviews. A survival analysis was conducted to evaluate their outcomes and to identify the prognostic factors for this disease.
According to the latest recommendations for the classification and nomenclature of colorectal HGNENs, 61 (84.7%) patients in our cohort had poorly differentiated neoplasms, which were categorized as high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas (HGNECs), and the remaining 11 (15.3%) patients had well differentiated neoplasms, which were categorized as high-grade neuroendocrine tumors (HGNETs). Most of the neoplasms (63.9%) were located at the rectum. More than half of the patients (51.4%) presented with distant metastasis at the date of diagnosis. All patients were followed for a median duration of 15.5 mo. In the entire cohort, the median survival time was 31 mo, and the 3-year and 5-year survival rates were 44.3% and 36.3%, respectively. Both the univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated that increasing age, HGNEC type, and distant metastasis were risk factors for poor clinical outcomes.
Colorectal HGNENs are rare and aggressive malignancies with poor clinical outcomes. However, patients with younger age, good morphological differentiation, and without metastatic disease can have a relatively favorable prognosis.
Core tip: Colorectal high-grade neuroendocrine neoplasms (HGNENs) are aggressive malignancies with an extremely low incidence. Many issues, such as their classification and therapy strategies, have been controversial for a long time. We conducted this study to delineate their clinicopathologic features and clinical outcomes. There is a trend to categorize colorectal HGNENs with good morphological differentiation as a subgroup different from high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas in the newest World Health Organization classification. We introduced this classification into our study and compared the prognoses of different subgroups.