Localization of oncofetal and normal fibronectin in colorectal cancer. Correlation with histologic grade, liver metastasis, and prognosis



Background. Expression of oncofetal fibronectin (oncFN) and normal fibronectin (norFN) in colorectal cancer specimens was examined to investigate the correlation between fibronectin localization and histologic grade, liver metastasis, and prognosis.

Methods. Immunohistochemical staining of oncFN and norFN was performed on 99 primary lesions and 12 liver metastases of colorectal cancer. The expression of norFN and oncFN was evaluated by grading the intensity of staining as negative, positive, or strongly positive.

Results. Positive staining for oncFN correlated positively with increasing stage. The rate of strongly positive staining for oncFN was 53% for primary lesions with liver metastasis, significantly higher than the oncFN-positive rate of 13% for metastasis free cases (P < 0.05). Liver lesions had an oncFN-positive rate of 92%. The postoperative 5-year survival rate for 51 cases classified as Dukes Stage C was 77.8% for oncFN-negative cases, 36.5% for oncFN-positive cases, and 22.2% for oncFN-strongly positive cases; these rates were significantly different (P < 0.01). Conversely, there was no correlation between norFN and any clinical variable.

Conclusion. Expression of oncFN is correlated with a poor prognosis of Dukes C colorectal cancer and may serve as a useful postoperative prognostic sign. Cancer 1995;75:2802–8.