Mucinous histology is associated with poor prognosis in locally advanced colorectal adenocarcinoma treated with postoperative first-line adjuvant chemotherapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2022 Oct;48(10):2075-2081. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2022.06.024. Epub 2022 Jun 23.


Purpose: Postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy followed surgery is the standard management for localized advanced colorectal carcinoma (CRC). Mucinous adenocarcinoma (MAC) is a peculiar histological subtype of CRC, but the prognosis of MAC patients is controversial. The objective of this study is to assess the implication of MAC in survival of patients treated with surgery and firs-line adjuvant chemotherapy.

Methods: Studies describing outcomes for advanced MAC and non-specific adenocarcinoma (AC) of CRC patients treated with first-line postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy followed surgery were searched in PubMed, Embase, Medline, EBSCO, Wiley, and Cochrane Library (January 1963-August 2021). Hazard ratios (HRs) of overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) for MAC to AC were extracted. Random-effects model was used for calculating the pooled HRs and 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: This meta-analysis is comprised of 8 studies involving a total of 124,303 CRC patients treated with first-line adjuvant chemotherapy followed surgery. The pooled HR for MAC was 1.23 (95% CI, 1.07-1.41, p < 0.01, I2 = 80%), and the DFS (HR, 2.95, 95% CI, 1.22-7.14) of MAC patients were significantly poorer than AC patients. Similar results were also observed in stage III and FOLFOX regimen subgroups.

Conclusion: MAC was a risk factor for prognosis of localized advanced CRC patients treated with postoperative first-line adjuvant chemotherapy. Thus, the role of first-line adjuvant chemotherapy regimens should be further studied in these MAC patients.

Keywords: Colorectal carcinoma; Meta-analysis; Mucinous adenocarcinoma; Postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous* / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous* / surgery
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Prognosis