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Disease Markers
Volume 20 (2004), Issue 4-5, Pages 283-288

Neuroendocrine Differentiation in Sporadic CRC and Hereditary Nonpolyosis Colorectal Cancer

M. H. Sun

State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering; Department of Pathology, Cancer Hospital/Cancer Institute, Fudan University, 200032 Shanghai, China

Received 26 October 2004; Accepted 26 October 2004

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Extent neuroendocrine differentiation can be encountered in many human neoplasm derived from different organs and systems using immunohistochemistry and ultrastructural techniques. The tumor cells' behaviors resemble those of neurons and neuroendocrine cells. The presence of neuroendocrine differentiation reputedly appears to be associated with a poorer prognosis than the adenocarcinoma counterparts in sporadic human neoplasm. In this review the neuroendocrine carcinoma and the adenocarcinoma with neuroendocrine differentiation of colon and rectum both in sporadic colorectal carcinoma and the hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, the relationship of neuroendocrine differentiation and some possible molecular pathways in tumorogenesis of colorectal cancer will be discussed. Possible treatment strategy will also be addressed.