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Expression of heparan sulfate in gastric carcinoma and its correlation with clinicopathological features and patient survival
  1. Soo-Ling Lo1,
  2. Aye Aye Thike2,
  3. Soo-Yong Tan2,
  4. Tony Kiat-Hon Lim2,
  5. Iain Bee-Huat Tan3,
  6. Su-Pin Choo3,
  7. Puay-Hoon Tan2,
  8. Boon-Huat Bay1,
  9. George Wai-Cheong Yip1
  1. 1Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
  3. 3Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr George Wai-Cheong Yip, Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 4 Medical Drive, Block MD 10, Singapore 117597; georgeyip{at}


Aim To determine the expression pattern and prognostic value of heparan sulfate in gastric cancer.

Method The 10E4 antiheparan sulfate monoclonal antibody was used to examine the expression pattern of heparan sulfate in tissue microarrays consisting of 162 cases of gastric carcinoma by immunohistochemistry. The immunoreactivities of both epithelial and stromal components of the specimens were examined and analysed statistically for significant associations with clinicopathological parameters, including histological grade of the tumour, extent of cancer infiltration and presence of lymph-node metastases, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, perforation of gastric wall and stromal reaction. The potential use of heparan sulfate as a predictive factor for patient survival was also evaluated.

Results Reduced expression of heparan sulfate in the epithelial component was associated with higher histological grades of gastric cancer as well as the presence of more extensive tumour infiltration. Furthermore, this decrease in heparan sulfate expression was found to be predictive of reduced patient survival after tumour recurrence.

Conclusion The data suggest that heparan sulfate may play an important role in regulating the biology of gastric cancer, and that it may be a useful prognostic marker of this tumour.

  • Heparan sulfate
  • gastric carcinoma
  • prognostic marker
  • immunohistochemistry
  • tissue microarray
  • gastric cancer

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  • Funding The project was supported by Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium Grant NMRC/TCR/001/NUS/2007 and Singapore Cancer Syndicate Grant SCS MS4R. S-LL is the recipient of a graduate research scholarship from the National University of Singapore.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Institutional Review Board, Singapore General Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.