Kojima, Y., Mogaki, M., Takagawa, R. et al. J Gastroenterol (2007) 42: 181. doi:10.1007/s00535-006-1981-0
Follow-up colonoscopy of a 25-year-old Japanese man with ulcerative colitis (UC) who had undergone endoscopic mucosal resection twice for early colon cancers revealed the presence of a new 1.5-cm-diameter tumor in the sigmoid colon. It was diagnosed by preoperative biopsy as a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma. Sigmoidectomy was performed, and the pathological findings revealed lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LEC). In situ hybridization to detect Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded small RNAs showed positive signals in stromal lymphocytes, but weak signals in the tumor cells. The association between EBV and LEC was obscure in this case. Unlike typical UC-mediated colon cancers, the lesion was poorly differentiated, and negative for p53 signals immunohistochemically. These findings may hint at a novel mechanism of carcinogenesis in UC-mediated colorectal cancer.