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Squamous cell carcinoma of the colon with an elevated serum squamous cell carcinoma antigen responding to combination chemotherapy.

  • Copur, S
  • Ledakis, P
  • Novinski, D
  • Mleczko, K L
  • Frankforter, S
  • Bolton, M
  • Fruehling, R M
  • VanWie, E
  • Norvell, M
  • Muhvic, J
Published Article
Clinical colorectal cancer
Publication Date
May 01, 2001
PMID: 12445380


Primary squamous cell colorectal carcinomas are uncommon, and their characteristics are not well known. They seem to occur most commonly in the fifth decade of life with a slight predominance for men. The most commonly reported anatomic locations are the rectum and the proximal colon. Clinical features and common diagnostic methods do not easily differentiate squamous cell colorectal carcinomas from adenocarcinomas. Because of their extremely rare occurrence, it is difficult to study their natural course, clinical behavior, and response to therapy. This report presents the case of a pure squamous cell colorectal cancer and provides a brief review of the literature, which includes 60 previously published cases. The case of a patient with T3N2M0 primary squamous cell carcinoma of the rectosigmoid colon, which was initially treated with abdominoperineal resection followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation, is presented. During the follow-up, an elevated squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC Ag) level led to restaging computed tomography scans, which confirmed recurrent metastatic disease in the liver. Response to chemotherapy with a decrease in tumor size correlated with a decrease in the serum SCC Ag level. Although SCC Ag has been used as a tumor marker for squamous cell cancers of the lung, head and neck, uterine cervix, and esophagus, this is the first reported case of a squamous cell colon carcinoma presenting with an elevated SCC Ag at the time of recurrence. In addition, this patient showed an objective partial response to combination chemotherapy, with a decrease in the serum level of this tumor marker.

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