Neurogenesis Indicative of Poor Colorectal Cancer Outcomes

Worse overall, disease-free survival for tumors exhibiting high degrees of neurogenesis

FRIDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Neurogenesis is associated with colorectal cancer progression, and is predictive of poor outcomes for patients, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Cancer.

Daniel Albo, M.D., Ph.D., from the College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues investigated whether neurogenesis is indicative of an aggressive tumor phenotype in colorectal cancer. Samples were obtained from 236 patients to create a tissue array and database. Immunostaining of slides with protein gene product 9.5 was used to identify nerve tissue. The association between markers of neurogenesis and oncologic outcomes was examined, and the effect of colorectal cancer cells on stimulation of neurogenesis in vitro was assessed.

The investigators identified 50 percent reductions in five-year overall survival and disease-free survival for patients whose tumors exhibited high degrees of neurogenesis compared with those whose tumors contained no detectable neurogenesis. Significantly greater reductions in five-year overall and disease-free survival were seen in patients with stage II disease and high degrees of neurogenesis, than in lymph node-negative patients with no neurogenesis. Significantly lower five year overall and disease-free survival was found in patients with stage II disease and high degrees of neurogenesis, than those with stage III disease with no neurogenesis. Neurogenesis was stimulated in colorectal cancer cells and there was evidence of neuroepithelial interactions between nerves and tumor cells in vitro.

"Neurogenesis is indicative of poor survival and recurrence and is an independent prognostic factor for poor outcomes in colorectal cancer," the authors write.

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