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Reduced expression of desmocollin 2 is an independent prognostic biomarker for shorter patients survival in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  1. Zaur Hamidov1,
  2. Annelore Altendorf-Hofmann2,
  3. Yuan Chen1,
  4. Utz Settmacher2,
  5. Iver Petersen1,
  6. Thomas Knösel1
  1. 1Institute of Pathology, Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany
  2. 2Department of General, Visceral and Vascular Surgery, Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Knösel, Institute of Pathology, Friedrich-Schiller University, Ziegelmühlenweg 1, 07743 Jena, Germany; thomas.knoesel{at}


Background Cell–cell adhesion molecules such as desmosomes and cytokeratins may play a major role in epithelial–mesenchymal transition and have been suggested to have a relevant impact on tumour progression. This study investigated 15 biomarkers in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and correlated the results with clinicopathological parameters.

Methods Tissue microarrays of 115 R0-resected PDAC were constructed to evaluate the protein expression of 15 in genome‐wide expression profiling differentially expressed biomarkers.

Results At the protein level a high expression of desmocollin 2 (DSC2) was observed in 90.4%, DSC1 (67.6%), DSC3 (0.9%), MDM2 (16.2%), CEA (64.8%), CK7 (85.2%), CK8 (96.5%), CK18 (96.5%), CK19 (93.9%), CK20 (11.5%), CA19-9 (86.6%), TLE1 (8.7%), PITX1 (91.2%), factor H (95.7%) and mesothelin (9.6%). Reduced expression of DSC2 was statistically correlated with shorter patient survival, higher tumour grading and positive lymph node status (p=0.008, p=0.029, p=0.011, respectively). In multivariable analysis reduced expression of DSC2, higher tumour grading and positive lymph node status were independently correlated with shorter patient survival.

Conclusions Reduced expression of DSC2 is independently correlated with shorter patient survival, higher tumour grading and positive lymph node status in PDAC and could serve as a prognostic marker.

  • Biomarker
  • cancer genetics
  • cancer research
  • chromosomes
  • colon
  • colorectal cancer
  • desmocollin 2 (DSC2)
  • epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT)
  • gastroenterology
  • histopathology
  • immunohistochemistry
  • molecular pathology
  • oncogenes
  • oncology
  • pancreatic cancer
  • pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • soft tissue tumours
  • surgery
  • tumour markers

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  • Competing interests None.

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