Spontaneous regression of transverse colon cancer: a case report

Surg Case Rep. 2017 Dec;3(1):65. doi: 10.1186/s40792-017-0341-z. Epub 2017 May 10.


Spontaneous regression (SR) of many malignant tumors has been well documented, with an approximate incidence of one per 60,000-100,000 cancer patients. However, SR of colorectal cancer (CRC) is very rare, accounting for less than 2% of such cases. We report a case of SR of transverse colon cancer in an 80-year-old man undergoing outpatient follow-up after surgical treatment of early gastric cancer. Colonoscopy (CS) revealed a Borrmann type II tumor in the transverse colon measuring 30 × 30 mm. Because the patient underwent anticoagulant therapy, we did not perform a biopsy at that time. A second CS was performed 1 week after the initial examination and revealed tumor shrinkage to a diameter of 20 mm and a shift to the Borrmann type III morphology. Biopsy revealed a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma. One week after the second CS, we performed a partial resection of the transverse colon and D2 lymph node dissection. Histopathology revealed inflammatory cell infiltration and fibrosis from the submucosal to muscularis propria layers in the absence of cancer cells, leading to pathological staging of pStage 0 (T0N0). The patient had an uneventful recovery, and CS performed at 5 months postoperatively revealed the absence of a tumor in the colon and rectum. The patient continues to be followed up as an outpatient at 12 months postoperatively, and no recurrence has been observed.

Keywords: Colon cancer; Immune response; Spontaneous regression.