Insight into Mucinous Colorectal Carcinoma: Clues from Etiology
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- Hugen, N., van Beek, J.J.P., de Wilt, J.H.W. et al. Ann Surg Oncol (2014) 21: 2963. doi:10.1245/s10434-014-3706-6
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The prognostic impact of mucinous carcinoma (MC) in colorectal cancer (CRC) has been subject to debate ever since the introduction of the classification of tumors according to their histological differentiation. MC is a distinct clinical and pathological entity within the spectrum of CRC and accounts for approximately 10–15 % of cases. Factors involved in MC development have not been completely understood, but clinical observations may lead to a better insight into the etiology of MC. In this article, we provide an in-depth review of the literature regarding etiological aspects of MC. We show that there are worldwide differences in the prevalence of MC, with low rates in Asian countries and higher rates in the western world. Moreover, MC is more commonly diagnosed in patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases or Lynch syndrome and an increased rate of MC is observed in patients with radiotherapy-induced CRCs. These findings are suggestive of a different oncogenic development. Identification of conditions that are associated with MC generates insight into the etiological pathways leading to the development of this special subtype.