Aims: To correlate immunohistochemical expression patterns and prognosis in oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
Methods: The expression of c-erbB-2, p53, p16INK4A, p27KIP1, cyclin D1 and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was studied in a series of 137 primarily resected oesophageal adenocarcinoma samples. The expression analysis on protein level was performed on routine paraffin wax-embedded material, with immunohistochemical staining of the samples, assembled on a tissue microarray. The results were correlated with clinicopathological features (pT, pN and G) and survival.
Results: 22 (16%) tumours showed an overexpression of the c-erbB-2 oncoprotein. Expression of EGFR was observed in 72 (55%) cases, accumulation of p53 in 68 (52%) cases and of cyclin D1 in 102 (77%) cases. Loss of p16INK4A expression was observed in 101 (76%) cases and low expression of p27KIP1 in 91 (71%) cases. Expression of these proteins did not correlate with tumour stage, grade, Lauren’s or World Health Organization classification or lymph node status. On univariate survival analysis, more advanced tumour stage (p = 0.002), lymph node involvement (p = 0.003), high tumour grade (p = 0.017) and lack of EGFR expression (p = 0.034) were found to be associated with poorer survival. On multiple regression analysis, only tumour stage (p = 0.03) and lymph node involvement (p = 0.004) were shown to have an association with the survival of the patient.
Conclusion: The immunohistochemical expression of c-erbB-2 oncoprotein, cylin D1, p16INK4A, p27KIP1, p53 and EGFR in most oesophageal adenocarcinomas suggests their implication in the pathogenesis of this entity. None of the molecular markers assessed, however, was of prognostic value. Identification of any marker superior to or even approaching the prognostic value of conventional histopathological markers (pT and pN) was therefore not possible.
- EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor
- TMA, tissue microarray
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Funding: This study was supported by the Deutsche Krebshilfe, Grant number 70-2789.