University of Oulu

Patankar, M, Mattila, T, Väyrynen, JP, Klintrup, K, Mäkelä, J, Tuomisto, A, Nieminen, P, Mäkinen, MJ, Karttunen, TJ. Putative anoikis‐resistant subpopulations in colorectal carcinoma: a marker of adverse prognosis. APMIS 2020; 128: 390– 400.

Putative anoikis‐resistant subpopulations in colorectal carcinoma : a marker of adverse prognosis

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Author: Patankar, Madhura1,2; Mattila, Taneli1,2; Väyrynen, Juha P.1,2,3;
Organizations: 1Department of Pathology, Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Pathology, Oulu University Hospital and Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Medical Oncology, Dana‐Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
4Department of Surgery, Oulu University Hospital and Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Surgery, Research Unit of Surgery, Anesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Medical Informatics and Data Analysis Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-06-30


Anoikis is a form of apoptosis induced when a cell loses contact with the extracellular matrix (ECM). Anoikis resistance is essential for metastasis formation, yet only detectable by in vitro experiments. We present a method for quantitation of putative anoikis‐resistant (AR) subpopulations in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and evaluate their prognostic significance. We studied 137 CRC cases and identified cell subpopulations with and without stromal or extracellular matrix (ECM) contact with hematoxylin‐and‐eosin‐stained sections and immunohistochemistry for laminin and type IV collagen. Suprabasal cells of micropapillary structures and inner cells of cribriform and solid structures lacked both stromal contact and contact with ECM proteins. Apoptosis rate (M30) was lower in these subpopulations than in the other carcinoma cells, consistent with putative AR subpopulation. We determined the areal density of these subpopulations (number/mm² tumor tissue), and their high areal density independently indicates low cancer‐specific survival. In conclusion, we show evidence that subpopulations of carcinoma cells in micropapillary, cribriform, and solid structures are resistant to anoikis as shown by lack of ECM contact and low apoptosis rate. Abundance of these subpopulations is a new independent indicator of poor prognosis in CRC, consistent with the importance of anoikis resistance in the formation of metastasis.

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Series: APMIS
ISSN: 0903-4641
ISSN-E: 1600-0463
ISSN-L: 0903-4641
Volume: 128
Issue: 5
Pages: 390 - 400
DOI: 10.1111/apm.13041
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
3122 Cancers
Funding: The authors are grateful to Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu Scholarship Foundation for financial support.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. APMIS published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Scandinavian Societies for Medical Microbiology and Pathology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.