Esophageal Cancer
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2003. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Feb 15, 2003; 9(2): 225-232
Published online Feb 15, 2003. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v9.i2.225
Expression of e-cadherin and β-catenin in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: relationships with prognosis
Xi-Jiang Zhao, Hui Li, Hua Chen, Yan-Xue Liu, Li-Hua Zhang, Su-Xiang Liu, Qing-Lai Feng
Xi-Jiang Zhao, Qing-Lai Feng, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Cancer Hospital, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin 300060, China
Hui Li, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shandong Cancer Hospital & Institute, Jinan 250117, Shandong Province, China
Hua Chen, Yan-Xue Liu, Li-Hua Zhang, Su-Xiang Liu, Department of Pathology, Cancer Hospital & Institute, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin 300060, China
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Correspondence to: Dr Xi-Jiang Zhao, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Cancer Hospital of Tianjin Medical University, Tiyuanbei Street, Block Hexi, Tianjin 300060, China.
Telephone: +86-22-23359929 Ext 322
Received: April 29, 2002
Revised: May 4, 2002
Accepted: July 3, 2002
Published online: February 15, 2003

AIM: To elucidate the expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin correlating with its clinical outcome in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), by analyzing their interrelationship with clinicopathological variables and their effects on progress and prognosis.

METHODS: Expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin was determined by SP immunohistochemical technique in patients with ESCC consecutively, their correlation with clinical characteristics was evaluated and analyzed by multivariate analysis.

RESULTS: The rate of expression of E-cadherin decreased to 66.03% (70/106) in ESCC and the protein level was negative correlated with histologic grade, tumor size, clinical staging, lymph node metastasis and venous invasion. Whereas the expression rate of β-catenin was reduced to 69.8% (74/106) and the level of protein expression correlated only with histologic grade. There obviously existed inverse correlation between level of E-cadherin protein and survival, especially in stage I, IIa, IIb (P = 0.0033), Patients with low-expressing tumors for β-catenin and non-expressing tumors for E-cadherin/β-catenin had lower survival period than those with normal-expressing ones (P = 0.0501 and P = 0.0080, respectively). Patients with diminished expression of E-cadherin as grade II or III had shorter survival period than those with normally expressing and grade I, no significance existed between grade I and grade II or III with respect to different status of E-cadherin expression. Furthermore, Correlation analysis showed level of E-cadherin correlated with that of β-catenin (P = 0.005). Cox proportional hazards model analysis suggested downregulation of E-cadherin was an important factor indicating poor prognosis.

CONCLUSION: As a probable independent prognostic factor, it correlates with overall and disease free survival period, expression of E-cadherin but not β-catenin may predict prognosis in patients with ESCC.

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