Histological growth patterns and molecular analysis of resected colorectal lung metastases

Emanuela Pilozzi, Damiano Fedele, Andrea Montori, Laura Lorenzon, Valentina Peritore, Giorgia Mannocchi, Nikta Bagheri, Chiara Leone, Antonio Palumbo, Michela Roberto, Giulio Ranazzi, Erino Rendina, Genoveffa Balducci, Mohsen Ibrahim

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3 Scopus citations


Lung is the site of metastasis in about 15–25 % of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Lung metastasectomy of CRC represents a standard therapy in patients with resectable metastases. In this study we investigated both histological patterns of metastases and mutations in MAPkinase pathway genes and their relationship to prognosis. The study included 74 patients that underwent metastasectomy of colorectal lung metastasis (CLM). In patients that underwent surgical resection of more than one metastasis in the same operation the largest was chosen. In patients that had undergone multiple lung metastasectomy only the sample from the first metastasectomy was included. Histologically metastases were scored according to amount and distribution of necrosis and fibrosis and three patterns were identified: “pattern A”, metastasis with extensive, confluent central necrosis surrounded by a rim of neoplastic glands; “pattern B”, metastasis characterized by a proliferation of neoplastic glands in a dense stroma with focal necrosis mainly intraglandular; “pattern C”, metastasis with a mixed A and B morphology. In all samples direct sequencing of exon 2 of KRAS and NRAS genes and exon 15 of BRAF genes was carried out.Histological patterns weren't related to metastasis size or other clinical features however pattern C metastases showed a significant worst disease free survival (DFS). KRAS mutations were observed in 39 % of patients. Mutations in KRAS codon 13 resulted significantly associated with synchronous metastasis and poor prognosis. No mutations were identified in exon 2 NRAS gene whilst 1.4 % harboured a mutation in BRAF. To our knowledge this is the first study that investigates in a large series of CLM histological growth patterns, molecular alterations and their relationship to prognosis. Our data suggest a prognostic role in CLM of KRAS specific mutations and histopathological patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153414
JournalPathology Research and Practice
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Colorectal cancer
  • KRAS
  • Lung metastasis
  • Pattern of growth
  • Prognosis


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