Background: Appendiceal adenocarcinoma with signet ring cells (SCA) is associated with worse overall survival (OS), and it is unclear whether cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (CRS-HIPEC) should be pursued in this patient population. We assessed the prognostic implications of signet ring cells in patients with appendiceal adenocarcinoma and peritoneal carcinomatosis undergoing CRS-HIPEC.
Methods: The US HIPEC Collaborative, a 12-center, multi-institutional database of patients undergoing CRS-HIPEC, was reviewed for patients with SCA. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.
Results: Of 514 patients undergoing CRS-HIPEC for appendiceal adenocarcinoma, 125 (24%) had SCA. The SCA and non-SCA groups had similar baseline characteristics. SCA had worse OS compared with non-SCA (32.0 vs 91.4 months, p < 0.001). In univariate analysis for only SCA cases, there was worse OS in patients with poorly differentiated tumors, positive lymph nodes, LVI, PCI > 20, or incomplete cytoreduction (CC-2/3). However, multivariate analysis showed only positive lymph nodes (HR 1.14 [95% CI 1.00-1.31], p = 0.04), poor differentiation (5.60 [1.29-24.39], p = 0.02), and incomplete cytoreduction (4.90 [1.11-12.70], p = 0.03) were independently associated with decreased OS for SCA.
Conclusion: While signet cells are a negative prognostic feature, they should not be a contraindication to CRS-HIPEC in patients with well-moderately differentiated tumors with negative lymph nodes, where complete cytoreduction can be achieved.
Keywords: Appendiceal adenocarcinoma; Cytoreductive surgery; Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy; Signet ring cells.