Completeness of pathology reports in stage II colorectal cancer

Introduction: The completeness of the pathological examination of resected colon cancer specimens is important for further clinical management. We reviewed the pathological reports of 356 patients regarding the five factors (pT-stage, tumor differentiation grade, lymphovascular invasion, tumor perforation and lymph node metastasis status) that are used to identify high-risk stage II colon cancers, as well as their impact on overall survival (OS).

Methods: All patients with stage II colon cancer who were included in the first five years of the MATCH study (1 July 2007 to 1 July 2012) were selected (n = 356). The hazard ratios of relevant risk factors were calculated using Cox Proportional Hazards analyses.

Results: In as many as 69.1% of the pathology reports, the desired information on one or more risk factors was considered incomplete. In multivariable analysis, age (HR: 1.07, 95%CI 1.04–1.10, p < .001), moderately- (HR: 0.35, 95%CI 0.18–0.70, p = .003) and well (HR 0.11, 95%CI 0.01–0.89, p = .038) differentiated tumors were significantly associated with OS.

Conclusions: Pathology reports should better describe the five high-risk factors, in order to enable proper patient selection for further treatment. Chemotherapy may be offered to stage II patients only in select instances, yet a definitive indication is still unavailable.