There is a need to improve current risk stratification of stage II colorectal cancer to better inform risk of recurrence and guide adjuvant chemotherapy. We sought to examine whether integration of QuantCRC, a digital pathology biomarker utilizing hematoxylin and eosin–stained slides, provides improved risk stratification over current American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines.

Experimental Design:

ASCO and QuantCRC-integrated schemes were applied to a cohort of 398 mismatch-repair proficient (MMRP) stage II colorectal cancers from three large academic medical centers. The ASCO stage II scheme was taken from recent guidelines. The QuantCRC-integrated scheme utilized pT3 versus pT4 and a QuantCRC-derived risk classification. Evaluation of recurrence-free survival (RFS) according to these risk schemes was compared using the log-rank test and HR.


Integration of QuantCRC provides improved risk stratification compared with the ASCO scheme for stage II MMRP colorectal cancers. The QuantCRC-integrated scheme placed more stage II tumors in the low-risk group compared with the ASCO scheme (62.5% vs. 42.2%) without compromising excellent 3-year RFS. The QuantCRC-integrated scheme provided larger HR for both intermediate-risk (2.27; 95% CI, 1.32–3.91; P = 0.003) and high-risk (3.27; 95% CI, 1.42–7.55; P = 0.006) groups compared with ASCO intermediate-risk (1.58; 95% CI, 0.87–2.87; P = 0.1) and high-risk (2.24; 95% CI, 1.09–4.62; P = 0.03) groups. The QuantCRC-integrated risk groups remained prognostic in the subgroup of patients that did not receive any adjuvant chemotherapy.


Incorporation of QuantCRC into risk stratification provides a powerful predictor of RFS that has potential to guide subsequent treatment and surveillance for stage II MMRP colorectal cancers.

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