Background and aim Gastric carcinoma is the second most frequent cause of cancer-related death worldwide. As PTEN is a potential modifier of tumour response to trastuzumab, a recently approved therapy in metastatic HER2 positive gastric cancer, the existence of PTEN deletions in primary gastric cancer was investigated.
Methods 230 primary gastric cancers were analysed in a tissue microarray format by dual labelling fluorescence in situ hybridisation for PTEN deletion. HER2 analysis was also performed. To study PTEN deletion heterogeneity, all available large tissue sections from primary cancer and corresponding metastases were analysed in seven patients.
Results Eight of 180 interpretable primary gastric cancer spots showed PTEN deletions (4.4%), including seven hemizygous and one homozygous deletion. PTEN deletion was correlated with nodal (8 of 122 cases (6.6%); p=0.041) and distant metastases (4 of 19 (21.1%); p<0.001). Large section validation showed a homogeneous distribution of PTEN deletion. HER2 positivity was seen in one PTEN deleted case.
Conclusion Genomic PTEN deletion is a rare event in gastric adenocarcinoma but correlates with metastatic disease. The homogeneous distribution pattern indicates that this alteration occurs early in tumour development.
- PTEN protein
- gene deletion
- stomach neoplasms
- microarray analysis
- in Situ hybridisation
- cancer research
- gut pathology
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