Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIM: The mechanism by which neoplasias respond to hypoxia determines their biological behavior and prognosis. Understanding the biology of tumors under hypoxic conditions is crucial for the development of anti-angiogenic therapy. Using the largest cohort of rectal adenocarcinomas to date, this study aimed to assess microvessel density (MVD) and carbonic anhydrase-9 (CA-9) expression and to correlate the results with recurrence and cancer-specific survival. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients (n=101) who underwent surgery for rectal adenocarcinoma without previous neoadjuvant therapy or metastatic disease were selected. MVD and CA-9 expression were assessed immunohistologically by using the CD34 antibody and the MN/CA9 M75 antibody, respectively. In a multifactorial analysis, the results were correlated with tumor stage, recurrence rate, and long-term survival. RESULTS: MVD was higher with increased T- and N-stages (p<0.01) and associated positively with poor survival (hazard ratio (HR) 1.3 per 10 vessel increase, p<0.01). CA-9 was expressed in 73% of cancers. Negative lymph node status correlated with CA-9 positivity (p<0.05), reflected in a higher rate of CA-9 positivity in earlier Dukes' stages (p<0.05). CA-9 positivity across tumor node metastasis (TNM) stages approached significance (Stage I/II: 80% CA-9 positive vs. 20% CA-9 negative; Stage III: 63% CA-9 positive vs. 37% negative, p=0.051). A trend was seen towards better cancer-specific survival in patients with CA-9 positive carcinomas (HR 0.51, p=0.07) on univariate analysis. DISCUSSION: MVD was higher in more advanced T- and N-stages and may be used as a determinant of survival in patients with rectal adenocarcinomas. CA-9 expression was seen more often in earlier Dukes' stages, possibly representing an early tumor hypoxic response. CA-9 expression by adenocarcinoma cells may confer long-term survival advantage in surgically treated rectal cancer.

Original publication




Journal article


Pathol Res Pract

Publication Date





1 - 9


Adenocarcinoma, Aged, Antigens, Neoplasm, Biomarkers, Tumor, Carbonic Anhydrase IX, Carbonic Anhydrases, Disease-Free Survival, Female, Humans, Kaplan-Meier Estimate, Male, Microvessels, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Invasiveness, Neoplasm Staging, Proportional Hazards Models, Rectal Neoplasms, Recurrence, Risk Assessment, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome