Konukiewitz, B., Schmitt, M., Silva, M., Pohl, J., Lang, C., Steiger, K., Halfter, K., Engel, J., Schlitter, A.M., Boxberg, M., Pfarr, N., Wilhelm, D., Foersch, S., Tschurtschenthaler, M., Weichert, W., Jesinghaus, M. (2021). Br J Cancer.
Background: Immunohistochemical loss of CDX2 has been proposed as a biomarker of dismal survival in colorectal carcinoma (CRC), especially in UICC Stage II/III. However, it remains unclear, how CDX2 expression is related to central hematoxylin–eosin (HE)-based morphologic parameters defined by 2019 WHO classification and how its prognostic relevance is compared to these parameters. Methods: We evaluated CDX2 expression in 1003 CRCs and explored its prognostic relevance compared to CRC subtypes, tumour budding and WHO grade in the overall cohort and in specific subgroups. Results: CDX2-low/absent CRCs were enriched in specific morphologic subtypes, right-sided and microsatellite-instable (MSI-H) CRCs (P < 0.001) and showed worse survival characteristics in the overall cohort/UICC Stage II/III (e.g. DFS: P = 0.005) and in microsatellite stable and left-sided CRCs, but not in MSI-H or right-sided CRCs. Compared with CDX2, all HE-based markers showed a significantly better prognostic discrimination in all scenarios. In multivariate analyses including all morphologic parameters, CDX2 was not an independent prognostic factor. Conclusion: CDX2 loss has some prognostic impact in univariate analyses, but its prognostic relevance is considerably lower compared to central HE-based morphologic parameters defined by the WHO classification and vanishes in multivariate analyses incorporating these factors.