Clinical implications of N-cadherin expression in gastric cancer

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Abstract

Neo-expression of N-cadherin in cancer cells is regarded as a significant event in tumor progression via epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). No reports have detailed the clinical impact of N-cadherin expression in gastric cancer. We retrospectively examined the co-expression of N-cadherin and E-cadherin in human gastric carcinoma and analyzed the clinicopathological significance of N-cadherin expression. One hundred and forty-six gastric cancer patients who received curative gastrectomy were enrolled. E-cadherin and N-cadherin immunoreactivity in cancer tissue was evaluated by the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex technique. The correlation between N-cadherin and E-cadherin expression and clinicopathological parameters were analyzed. N-cadherin-positive and -negative expression were found in 31 and 115 patients, respectively. N-cadherin expression positively correlated with hematogenous recurrence (P< 0.01) and negatively correlated with patients' postoperative outcomes (P< 0.05). Moreover, only in the E-cadherin-preserved group was prognostic significance found according to N-cadherin expression (P< 0.01). We could not show a significant relationship between N-cadherin expression and EMT in gastric cancer. However, neo N-cadherin expression significantly affected patient's survival in gastric cancer. Therefore, we concluded that neo N-cadherin expression may be a useful prognostic marker independent of E-cadherin expression.

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