It is well known that adenomas represent the morphologically categorised precursor of the vast majority of colorectal cancers. Only few adenomas actually develop invasive cancer (progressive adenomas), although every adenoma has the capacity of malignant evolution. Most adenomas stabilise their progression or even regress. Easily identifiable but widely ranged pathological features (size, architectural growth, type, grade and gross organisation of dysplasia) are predictive of their natural history in terms of potential of cancerisation and duration of the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. Knowledge of the biological machineries sustaining the progression rates and times could be crucial to refine the natural history assumptions in screening modelling.
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