Medullary adenocarcinoma of the colon: Clinicopathologic study of 11 cases Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Adenoma, Liver Cell
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha
  • Incidental Findings
  • Liver Neoplasms
  • Mutation
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


  • Colonic carcinomas with minimal or no glandular differentiation are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms which differ in their histologic appearance, clinical features, prognosis and molecular characteristics. Since 1990, we prospectively identified 11 patients with a predominantly solid (nonglandular) adenocarcinoma of the colon for which the term medullary adenocarcinoma of the colon (MAC) is proposed. The clinical, histological, histochemical, and immunohistochemical features of these neoplasms were studied. All patients with MAC were women with tumors in the cecum or proximal colon. Histological analysis showed nests or trabeculae of regular small to medium-sized cells with moderate amounts of eosinophilic cytoplasm; some cells contained mucin vacuoles. The nuclei had an open chromatin pattern and exhibited prominent nucleoli. Lymphatic permeation was present in most cases. Immunohistochemical reactions were positive for cytokeratin, carcinoembryonic antigen, and epithelial membrane antigen. Despite its histological resemblance with endocrine tumors, MAC is negative for endocrine markers. Of the eight patients for whom follow-up is available, four patients (two Dukes B and two Dukes C) are alive and well 1 to 4 years after surgery, one patient (Dukes C) died of tumor, one patient is alive with liver metastasis 4 years after surgery, and two patients died in the postoperative period. MAC appears to be a distinctive clinicopathologic entity. This tumor should be distinguished from other more aggressive, nonglandular tumors of the colon.

publication date

  • January 1999



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S0046-8177(99)90146-6

PubMed ID

  • 10414504

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 843

end page

  • 8


  • 30


  • 7