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Case of the Week

History: These rectal biopsies are from a patient with a history of prostate carcinoma. Has the carcinoma recurred in the patient’s rectum?

Answer: No, these samples show both radiation proctitis and taxane effect.

Comment: The radiation effect is reflected by the thick-walled ectatic blood vessels in the lamina propria. The taxane (chemotherapy; taxol, docetaxel) effect is manifested by ring mitoses and apoptosis in the proliferative compartment of the mucosa. It is seen within a few days of infuse of taxane chemotherapeutic agents, as described years ago. This patient had received his infusion 3 days before the biopsies were obtained. Usually, the taxane changed reflect an effect rather than an indication of toxicity.

PMID: 18300801

This case was provided Dr. Elizabeth Montgomery, Editor-In-Chief of the Pathology Survival Guides at Innovative Science Press, and Professor of Pathology and Vice Chair of Anatomic Pathology at the University of Miami. Her Survival Guide to Gastrointestinal Biopsy is running out of stock. The Survival Guide to Prostate Pathology has been recently released. You can order both of these and other titles at:


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