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06.04.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2018

Virchows Archiv 2/2018

Interobserver variability in the H&E-based assessment of tumor budding in pT3/4 colon cancer: does it affect the prognostic relevance?

Zeitschrift:
Virchows Archiv > Ausgabe 2/2018
Autoren:
Benedikt Martin, Eva Schäfer, Elzbieta Jakubowicz, Patrick Mayr, Regina Ihringer, Matthias Anthuber, Gerhard Schenkirsch, Tina Schaller, Bruno Märkl

Abstract

Tumor budding is a mostly accepted adverse prognostic factor in colorectal carcinoma. It is on the cusp of a widespread use after agreement was reached recently on uniform assessment criteria. We investigated whether the interobserver variability has a direct influence on the prognostic relevance in pT3/4 colon cancer in the background of different levels of experience of the investigators. In total, six investigators with different levels of experience evaluated tumor budding on H&E slides in 244 cases with primary diagnosed (2002–2011) colon carcinoma (pT3/4, N+/−, M0). High-grade tumor budding/budding grade 3 (defined as majority assessment among the investigators) was significantly associated with an adverse outcome (overall survival p = 0.03, cancer-specific survival p = 0.08) and the occurrence of distant metastasis (p = 0.009). However, a detailed analysis of the rating results of the individual investigators revealed that only ratings of one investigator (advanced resident) were associated with an adverse outcome (p = 0.01 cancer-specific survival, overall survival p = 0.09, distant metastasis p = 0.002). The results of another investigator (consultant) were significantly associated with distant metastasis (p = 0.007). The kappa values among the investigators have a range between 0.077 and 0.357 (median 0.166). Total agreement of all investigators existed in 109 cases (44.7%). Our results demonstrate that the evaluation of tumor budding on H&E slides in pT3/4 colon cancer goes along with a considerable interobserver variability among investigators of different levels of experience. Furthermore, our results reveal that these findings directly influence the prognostic value.

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