The Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) system is one apoptotic pathway through which malignant tumors can evade immune surveillance. While FasL is expressed in malignant tumors, Fas is conversely downregulated to escape host immune attack, resulting in tumor invasion. The aim of the current study was to find out further clinicopathological significance of FasL expression in carcinoma of the colon and rectum. FasL expression was investigated using immunohistochemical staining in 143 consecutive patients with primary colorectal carcinomas. Seventy-nine carcinomas (55.2%) expressed FasL. The incidence of lymph node and distant metastases in carcinomas expressing FasL was significantly higher than in carcinomas that did not express FasL (p = 0.031 and p = 0.0003, respectively). Although univariate analysis showed that survival in patients with carcinomas expressing FasL was significantly poorer than that in patients with carcinomas without FasL expression (p = 0.001), only Dukes’ stage was an independent prognosticator by multivariate analysis. FasL expression was found to be correlated with lymph node involvement and distant metastases in colorectal carcinoma.

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