Published online Mar 25, 1996. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v2.i1.30
Revised: June 4, 1995
Accepted: December 17, 1995
Published online: March 25, 1996
AIM: To elucidate the biological and clinicopathological significance of neuroendocrine (NE) cells in gastric carcinoma (GC).
METHODS: One hundred and eighty nine patients with various histological types of GC were observed using light microscopy, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Of these, 127 patients were followed up.
RESULTS: Chromogranin A (CgA)-positive GC was demonstrated in 85 cases (45.0%). The types of NE cells in GC were probed using 9 kinds of hormone antibodies, and 49 cases (67.2%) presented more than one hormone. NE cells were found more often in poorly differentiated GC than in well differentiated GC (P < 0.01). Expression of some kinds of hormone was related to the differentiation and histological types of GC. bombesin, calcitonin (P < 0.01), gastrin and serotonin (P < 0.05) were more highly expressed in poorly differentiated cases than in well differentiated ones. Nineteen cases with metastatic foci in the regional lymph nodes were found to have CgA-positive cancer cells. The presence of HCG in metastatic lymph nodes was more often observed than that of other hormone (P < 0.01). The survival rate of patients with NE cell-positive GC was 38.9%, and of NE cell-negative GC was 52.7%. Five of 7 patients (71.4%) with somatostatin-positive GC were still alive at the follow-up (range: 33-66 mo), but 4 patients with HCG-positive GC had died (range: 12-29 mo).
CONCLUSION: NE cells occur more frequently in poorly differentiated GC. Certain hormones appear to be related to metastasis and prognosis.