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August 1961

Small-Cell Carcinoma of the Colon and Rectum: A Clinicopathologic Study

Author Affiliations

Fellow in Surgery, Mayo Foundation (Mr. Clery); Section of Surgical Pathology (Dr. Dockerty), and Section of Surgery (Dr. Waugh), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

Arch Surg. 1961;83(2):164-172. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300140006002

The recent papers on small-cell carcinoma of the stomach by Steiner and associates and by Bernatz stimulated us to search the records of the Mayo Clinic for similar lesions in the colon and rectum.

Review of Literature  In investigating those gastric cancers of which the outcome was favorable, Steiner, Maimon, Palmer, and Kirsner found that 2 histologic pictures predominated: (1) typical small, round-cell carcinoma, and (2) a special type of undifferentiated cancer characterized by "... groups and solid cords of medium-sized polyhedral cells lying in a cell-rich stroma... The cells had large, pale, often irregular, nuclei and little cytoplasm." Inflammatory infiltration was marked. These lesions were named "blue cell cancers" because sections stained by hematoxylin and eosin appeared bluish under low magnification. In a few instances there was an admixture of the more ordinary adenocarcinoma and "colloid" types of carcinoma.Grossly, the growing edge of the tumor was sharply defined, and