Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide. Poor survival of CRC associated with the development of tumour metastasis led to the investigation of the potential biomarkers to predict outcomes in CRC patients. Tumour budding (TB) is a well-known independent prognostic marker for poor survival and disease metastasis. Therefore, it has been suggested that TB status is included in routine clinicopathological factors for risk assessment in CRC. In contrast with a vast majority of studies regarding the prognostic power of TB, there is no clear evidence pertaining to the underlying molecular mechanism driving this phenotype, or an understanding of TB relationship with the tumour microenvironment (TME). The aim of the present study is to present a comprehensive review of TB and tumour cell signalling pathways together with the cross-talk of immune cells that could drive TB formation in CRC.

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