Goblet Cell Adenocarcinoma of the Appendix: A Systematic Review and Incidence and Survival of 1,225 Cases From an English Cancer Registry

Front Oncol. 2022 Jul 12:12:915028. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.915028. eCollection 2022.


Background: Goblet cell adenocarcinoma (GCA) of the appendix is a rare and aggressive tumour with varying nomenclature and classification systems. This has led to heterogeneity in published data, and there is a lack of consensus on incidence, survival, and management.

Methods: We provide an overview of GCA with a comprehensive systematic review using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology and a retrospective analysis of all cases recorded in the English National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service database between 1995 and 2018. The Kaplan-Meier estimator was used to calculate overall survival, and Cox proportional hazards regression was used to identify prognostic factors.

Results: The systematic review demonstrated an incidence of 0.05-0.3 per 100,000 per year among North American registry studies. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rate was 95.5%, 85.9%-87.6%, and 76.0%-80.6%, respectively. Age, stage, and grade were identified as prognostic factors for survival. Our analysis included 1,225 cases. Age-standardised incidence was 0.0335 per year in 1995 and gradually rose to 0.158 per year in 2018. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rate was 90.0% [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 85.4-94.0], 76.0% (95% CI: 73.8-80.9), and 68.6% (95% CI: 65.9-72.2), respectively. On univariate Cox regression analyses, female sex, stage, and grade were associated with worse overall survival. On multivariate analysis, only stage remained a statistically significant prognostic factor.

Conclusions: GCA of the appendix is rare, but incidence is increasing. We report a lower incidence and survival than North American registry studies. Higher stage was associated with decreased survival. Further prospective studies are required to establish optimal management.

Keywords: appendix tumour; goblet cell adenocarcinoma; goblet cell carcinoid; goblet cell carcinoma; mucin-secreting tumour.