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Research Article

Sialomucins at resection margin and likelihood of recurrence in colorectal carcinoma.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 30 August 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:521
  1. N A Habib,
  2. P M Dawson,
  3. J W Bradfield,
  4. R C Williamson,
  5. C B Wood


    Oncogenic transformation of colonic epithelium is accompanied by changes in surface carbohydrate, notably an increased secretion of sialomucins at the expense of the normally predominant sulphomucins. In a multicentre prospective trial the correlation between the presence of sialomucins at the resection margin and the subsequent development of local recurrence was studied in 250 patients who had undergone "curative" resection for colorectal carcinoma with a mean follow up period of 14 months. Nineteen of 70 patients (27.1%) with a sialomucin predominant pattern at either resection margin developed local recurrence compared with 15 of 180 patients (8.3%) with a mixed or sulphomucin predominant pattern (p less than 0.01). Increased sialomucin staining at the resection margins was associated with reduced survival in these patients (p less than 0.01). At a mean of 14 months of follow up 153 patients (85%) were alive in the sulphomucin group and 53 patients (76%) were alive in the sialomucin group. Regression analysis predicted five year survivals of 32.8% and 18.9% for the sulphomucin and sialomucin groups respectively. Abnormal mucus production at the resection margin in patients treated for colorectal carcinoma appears to identify those with a higher risk of local recurrence and reduced survival.