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WHO Classification of Tumours
Mucinous adenocarcinoma
Colon and rectum


An invasive adenocarcinoma composed of malignant glandular cells which contain intracytoplasmic mucin. Often, the infiltrating glandular structures are associated with mucoid stromal formation.

Mucinous adenocarcinoma of the colon and rectum
This designation is used if > 50% of the lesion is composed of pools of extracellular mucin that contain malignant epithelium as acinar structures, layers of tumour cells, or individual tumour cells including signetring cells. The level of maturation of the epithelium determines differentiation, but many mucinous adenocarcinomas are MSI-H

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Greenson JK, Huang SC, Herron C, Moreno V, Bonner JD, Tomsho LP, Ben-Izhak O, Cohen HI, Trougouboff P, Bejhar J, Sova Y, Pinchev M, Rennert G, Gruber SB (2009)
Pathologic predictors of microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer.
Am J Surg Pathol 33: 126-33

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Leopoldo S, Lorena B, Cinzia A, Gabriella DC, Angela Luciana B, Renato C, Antonio M, Carlo S, Cristina P, Stefano C, Maurizio T, Luigi R, Cesare B (2008)
Two subtypes of mucinous adenocarcinoma of the colorectum: clinicopathological and genetic features.
Ann Surg Oncol 15: 1429-39

and therefore lowgrade. Mucinous adenocarcinomas that are microsatellite-stable (MSS) or have low levels of instability (MSI-L) behave as high-grade lesions. Carcinomas with mucinous areas of < 50% are categorized as having a mucinous component
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Bosman FT, Carneiro F, Hruban RH, Theise ND (Eds.)
WHO Classification of Tumours of the Digestive System.
4th Edition
International Agency for Research on Cancer: Lyon 2010