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BACKGROUND: The prognostic value of morphometric nuclear features in Dukes' Stages B/C and D colorectal cancer (CRC) was assessed. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Primary tumours from 86 CRC patients were analysed, using an image overlay drawing system (Prodit Morphometry Program), for the following nuclear features: area, perimeter, diameter, form factor, roundness. RESULTS: The median nuclear area (NA) was 104.6 microm2 (range 57.2 - 237.2 microm2). The NA was larger in patients with lymph node metastasis (p < 0.02). Altogether, 43% of the patients showed clinical response to irinotecan-based chemotherapy. All six patients with complete response (CR) had a NA above the median (p < 0.03). The disease-specific survival of the patients with a NA above the median was significantly better than in patients with smaller NA (p < 0.02). CONCLUSION: Using the median NA as the cut-off value seems to effectively discriminate patients who are likely to respond to irinotecan-based chemotherapy (with improved prognosis) from those who are non-responsive and develop progressive disease.


Journal article


Anticancer Res

Publication Date





3083 - 3088


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Camptothecin, Cell Nucleus, Colorectal Neoplasms, Female, Fluorouracil, Humans, Irinotecan, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Prognosis, Proportional Hazards Models, Survival Rate