Colon tumor
Carcinosarcoma of colon

Author: Raul Gonzalez M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 28 December 2016, last major update February 2015

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Carcinosarcoma [title] colon
Cite this page: Carcinosarcoma of colon. website. Accessed December 14th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Biphasic colorectal neoplasm composed of epithelial and mesenchymal elements
  • Poor prognosis
  • Distinct from "sarcomatoid carcinoma," which is an entirely epithelial malignancy with some sarcoma-like morphologic features (such as spindled cells); this distinction has been overlooked in many reports
  • Extremely rare in the colon; only reported in single case reports
  • May be more common in left colon
Case reports
Gross images

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Polypoid carcinosarcoma of cecum

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Neoplasm with epithelial component (typically adenocarcinoma) and mesenchymal component (varies; most common are leiomyosarcoma, osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma)
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Carcinosarcoma with two distinct components

Mesenchymal component is SMA+

Epithelial component only is keratin+

Vimentin and cytokeratin

Positive stains
Electron microscopy images

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Epithelial and mesenchymal components

Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • One case demonstrated identical TP53 gene mutations in both tumor elements, suggesting common origin (BMC Cancer 2006;6:185)