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WHO Classification of Tumours
Signet ring cell carcinoma
Colon and rectum


A usually aggressive, poorly differentiated invasive adenocarcinoma characterized by the presence of malignant glandular cells in which the nucleus is pressed to one side by the presence of intracytoplasmic mucus.

Signet ring cell carcinoma of the colon and rectum
This variant of adenocarcinoma is defined by the presence of > 50% of tumour cells with prominent intracytoplasmic mucin, typically with displacement and moulding of the nucleus. Signet-ring cells can occur within the pools of mucinous adenocarcinoma or in a diffusely infiltrative process with minimal extracellular mucin in a linitis-plastica pattern. Large signet-ring cells can be termed "globoid cells". Some signet ring cell carcinomas are MSI-H and are low-grade, but those that lack MSI-H are usually highly aggressive

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Pande R, Sunga A, Levea C, Wilding GE, Bshara W, Reid M, Fakih MG (2008)
Significance of signet-ring cells in patients with colorectal cancer.
Dis Colon Rectum 51: 50-5

. Carcinomas with signet-ring cell areas of < 50% are categorized as adenocarcinoma with a signet-ring cell 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