With the prevalence of endoscopic submucosal dissection and endoscopic full thickness resection, which enable complete resection of T1 colorectal cancer with a negative margin, the treatment strategy following endoscopic resection has become more important. The necessity of secondary surgical resection is determined on the basis of the risk of lymph node metastasis according to the histopathological findings of resected specimens because approximately 10% of T1 colorectal cancer cases have lymph node metastasis. The current Japanese treatment guidelines state four risk factors for lymph node metastasis: lymphovascular invasion, histological differentiation, depth of submucosal invasion, and tumor budding. These guidelines have succeeded in stratifying the low-risk group for lymph node metastasis, in which endoscopic resection alone is acceptable for cure. On the other hand, there are some problems: there is variation in diagnosis methods and low interobserver agreement for each pathological factor and 90% of surgical resections are unnecessary with lymph node metastasis negativity. To ensure patients with T1 colorectal cancer receive more appropriate treatment, these problems should be addressed. In this systematic review, we gave some suggestions to these practical issues of four pathological factors as predictors.
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