Colorectal mucinous adenocarcinoma (MAC) and serrated adenocarcinoma (SAC) share many characteristics, including right-side colon location, frequent mucin production, and various molecular features. This study examined the frequency of SAC morphology in MACs. We assessed the correlation of SAC morphology with clinicopathological parameters, molecular characteristics, and patient prognosis. Eightyeight colorectal MACs were collected and reviewed for SAC morphology according to Makinen's criteria. We sequenced KRAS and BRAF, assessed CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) frequency, and analyzed DNA mismatch repair enzyme levels using immunohistochemistry in tumor samples. SAC morphology was observed in 38% of MACs, and was associated with proximal location (P=0.001), BRAF mutation (P=0.042), CIMP-positive status (P=0.023), and contiguous traditional serrated adenoma (P=0.019). Multivariate analysis revealed that MACs without both SAC morphology and CIMP-positive status exhibited 3.955 times greater risk of cancer relapse than MACs having both characteristics or either one (P=0.035). Our results show that two MAC groups with distinct features can be identified using Makinen's criteria, and suggest a favorable prognostic role for the serrated neoplastic pathway in colorectal MAC.
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