PURPOSE: The expression of helix pomatia agglutinin in advanced colorectal cancer was evaluated in order to determine whether helix pomatia agglutinin could serve as an effective prognostic indicator. METHODS: Using the histochemical procedure, the expression of helix pomatia agglutinin was studied in 117 patients with primary colorectal cancer. Sixty of 117 patients who died of either recurrence or metastasis within two years (Group 1) after resection were compared with the other 57 patients who survived for five years or longer (Group 2). RESULTS: The helix pomatia agglutinin-positive expression was seen in 34 cases of Group 1 and in only 15 cases of Group 2 (P<0.01). Lymph node metastasis, lymphatic invasion, venous invasion, mucin production, and helix pomatia agglutinin expression all had a significant correlation with the prognosis in the univariate analysis; however, only lymph node metastasis, venous invasion, and helix pomatia agglutinin expression were prognostic factors with a significant difference in the multivariate analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Histochemical expression of helix pomatia agglutinin will indeed aid in accurately predicting the prognosis of patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
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