Expression of CD44v3, erythropoietin and VEGF-C in gastric adenocarcinomas: correlations with clinicopathological features

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To investigate the expression of CD44v3 and vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) in gastric adenocarcinoma and the correlation with erythropoietin (EPO) and clinicopathological features.


The expression of CD44v3, VEGF-C and EPO was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining in 169 gastric adenocarcinomas. The correlations between these parameters and patients’ clinicopathological features were analyzed statistically.


CD44v3 and VEGF-C were positive in 50 (29.6%) and 82 (48.5%) patients, respectively. High CD44v3 expression was associated with poor cellular differentiation, extensive lymph node metastasis and advanced stage of gastric adenocarcinoma (P <0.05). High VEGF-C expression was significantly correlated with Lauren type, extensive lymph node metastasis and advanced stage of gastric adenocarcinoma (P <0.05). Univariate analysis of survival demonstrated that patients with a strong CD44v3 immunoreaction had a significantly worse overall survival compared with patients showing a weak CD44v3 immunoreaction (log-rank test: P = 0.0449). The mean survival time of patients with low CD44v3 expression was 30.6 months, which was much longer than the 21.6 months in patients with high expression. In addition, a strong association between immunohistochemical expression of CD44v3 and EPO was noted.


Increased expression of CD44v3 and VEGF-C may play a significant role in the carcinogenesis and progression of gastric adenocarcinoma. High CD44v3 expression may be a predictor of poor prognosis in gastric adenocarcinoma patients. We infer that some mechanisms may exist in regulating the expression of CD44v3 and EPO.

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