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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4810734, 8 pages
Review Article

Tumor Budding, Micropapillary Pattern, and Polyploidy Giant Cancer Cells in Colorectal Cancer: Current Status and Future Prospects

1Department of Pathology, Tianjin Union Medical Center, Tianjin 300121, China
2Department of Colorectal Surgery, Tianjin Union Medical Center, Tianjin 300121, China

Received 19 August 2016; Accepted 29 September 2016

Academic Editor: Chuanwei Yang

Copyright © 2016 Shiwu Zhang et al. 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.


We previously reported that polyploid giant cancer cells (PGCGs) induced by CoCl2 could form through endoreduplication or cell fusion. A single PGCC formed tumors in immunodeficient mice. PGCCs are also the key contributors to the cellular atypia and associate with the malignant grade of tumors. PGCCs have the properties of cancer stem cells and produce daughter cells via asymmetric cell division. Compared with diploid cancer cells, these daughter cells express less epithelial markers and acquire mesenchymal phenotype with importance in cancer development and progression. Tumor budding is generally recognized to correlate with a high recurrence rate, lymph node metastasis, chemoresistance, and poor prognosis of colorectal cancers (CRCs) and is a good indicator to predict the metastasis and aggressiveness in CRCs. Micropapillary pattern is a special morphologic pattern and also associates with tumor metastasis and poor prognosis. There are similar morphologic features and molecular phenotypes among tumor budding, micropapillary carcinoma pattern, and PGCCs with their budding daughter cells and all of them show strong ability of tumor invasion and migration. In this review, we discuss the cancer stem cell properties of PGCCs, the molecular mechanisms of their regulation, and the relationships with tumor budding and micropapillary pattern in CRCs.