Reduced p120ctn Expression Correlates With Poor Survival in Patients With Adenocarcinoma of the Gastroesophageal Junction

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Background and Objectives:P120-catenin (p120ctn) is a member of the E-cadherin-catenin cell-cell adhesion complex. Impairment of one or more of the components of this complex is associated with tumorigenesis. The role of p120ctn in malignancy is not clear yet. We studied the in vivo expression and cellular localization of p120ctn in adenocarcinomas of the gastroesophageal junction.Methods:Immunohistochemical staining for p120ctn was performed on 96 tumor samples, 20 cases of Barretts metaplasia and 13 lymph node metastases. The relationship with pathological characteristics and patient survival was also assessed.Results:Loss of normal surface p120ctn expression was found in 4/20 (20%) Barretts metaplasia, in 65/96 (68%) tumors, and 11/13 (85%) lymph node metastases. Nuclear immunoreactivity for p120ctn was seen in five tumors. Loss of normal expression of p120ctn was associated with a higher tumor grade (P < 0.0001) but not with pTNM-stage. Reduced expression of p120ctn was correlated with poor survival (P = 0.0002). Cox regression analysis showed that p120ctn is an independent prognostic marker.Conclusions:Abnormal p120ctn expression is frequently seen in adenocarcinomas of the gastroesophageal junction, and may be a useful as a prognostic marker in these tumors.

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