Published online Feb 15, 2003. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v9.i2.225
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.