The earliest phases of colorectal tumourigenesis initiate in the normal mucosa, with a generalised disorder of cell replication, and with the appearance of clusters of enlarged crypts (aberrant crypts) showing proliferative, biochemical and biomolecular abnormalities. The large majority of colorectal malignancies develop from adenomatous polyps. These can be defined as well demarcated masses of epithelial dysplasia, with uncontrolled crypt cell division. An adenoma can be considered malignant when neoplastic cells pass through the muscularis mucosae and infiltrate the submucosa. Definitions like carcinoma in situ or intramucosal carcinoma should be abandoned, since they lead to confusion. Although several lines of evidence indicate that carcinomas usually originate from pre-existing adenomas, this does not imply that all polyps undergo malignant changes, and does not exclude de novo carcinogenesis. Besides adenomas, other types of polypoid lesions include hyperplastic polyps (showing elongated crypts often with cystic dilatation), serrated adenomas (with a serrated glandular pattern), flat adenomas (flat lesions which are difficult to detect in routine lower endoscopy, but may possess malignant potential), hamartomatous polyps (which show a complex branching pattern of smooth muscle supporting normal lamina propria and glands), and inflammatory polyps. Colorectal carcinomas are one of the most frequent neoplasms in Western society; the macroscopic appearance of these lesions may be that of a polypoid vegetating mass or of a flat infiltrating lesion. Most of these tumours are adenocarcinomas (96%), that, in some cases, show a mucinous component. More rare malignancies of the large bowel include signet-ring cell carcinoma, squamous carcinoma, undifferentiated neoplasms and medullary type adenocarcinoma (solid carcinoma with minimal glandular differentiation or slight cellular pleomorphism). Colorectal carcinoma can be graded into well, moderately and poorly differentiated lesions; there is little evidence, however that grading may be of help in evaluating prognosis of affected patients. In conclusion, colorectal tumours cover a wide range of premalignant and malignant lesions, many of which can easily be removed at endoscopy. It follows that colorectal neoplasms might be prevented by interfering with the various steps of carcinogenesis, which begins with uncontrolled epithelial cell replication, continues with the formation of adenomas of various dimensions, and eventually evolves into malignancy.
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|Anno di pubblicazione:||2001|
|Titolo:||Pathology of colorectal cancer|
|Autori:||M. Ponz de Leon Pisani; C. Di Gregorio|
|Autori interni:||PONZ DE LEON, Maurizio|
|Rivista:||DIGESTIVE AND LIVER DISEASE|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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