Background: The prognosis of young colorectal cancer (CRC) patients has been addressed by several studies but with contradictory results. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinico-pathological features of young Saudi patients with CRC in addition to displaying their survival outcome. Materials and
Methods: In this retrospective study, young CRC patients (≤ 40 years) diagnosed between 2007 and 2011 from 4 centres in western Saudi Arabia, were included. Clinico-pathological features, tumor markers, dates of disease relapse and death were collected. Survival parameters were compared with those of older Saudi patients, reported in previous studies.
Results: One hundred and sixteen young patients with CRC were identified (32.2% rectal, 67.8% colon). Some 44% were metastatic while 32.7% had stage III at diagnosis. Patients with grade 3 tumorsmade up 29.4% of the total while 49.5% had positive lymphovascular invasion (LVI), 56% had a lymph node (LN) ratio ≥ 0.2 and 40.2% were K-ras mutant. Median disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in non-metastatic cases were 22.8 and 49.6 months respectively with better median DFS in K-ras wild compared to mutant patients (28.5 vs 20.9 months, p=0.005). In metastatic cases, median OS was 19.5 months. These survival outcomes are inferior compared to those of older Saudi patients reported in prior studies.
Conclusions: Young CRC patients present more commonly with advanced stage and a high incidence of adverse prognostic factors such as LVI and high LN ratio. Young CRC patients seem to have worse survival compared to older Saudi patients.