Ep-CAM is a significant prognostic factor in pancreatic cancer patients by suppressing cell activity

H. Akita, H. Nagano, Y. Takeda, H. Eguchi, H. Wada, S. Kobayashi, S. Marubashi, M. Tanemura, H. Takahashi, H. Ohigashi, Y. Tomita, O. Ishikawa, M. Mori, Y. Doki

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32 Citations (Scopus)


The identification of molecular markers useful for predicting prognosis in pancreatic cancer patients is crucial for advances in disease management. The epithelial cell adhesion molecule (Ep-CAM) is known to express in most epithelial malignancies and was reported as a tumor marker or a candidate of molecular targeting therapy. However, the clinical significance of Ep-CAM expression in pancreatic cancer is not well-known. We determined the difference of malignant potential between parental and Ep-CAM-transfected pancreatic cancer cell lines by using proliferation, invasion and migration assay. Furthermore, we determined the relationship between tumoral Ep-CAM expression of resected specimens and clinical prognosis in 95 pancreatic cancer patients receiving radical surgery at two different cancer centers. One of the three Ep-CAM-transfected cell lines showed significantly low proliferation rate compared with the parental cell, while there was no difference in the other two cell lines. In invasion and migration assays, Ep-CAM-transfected cells showed significantly lower malignant potential than parental in all of the three cell lines. In 95 pancreatic cancer patients, 47 patients showed high-Ep-CAM expression, while 48 patients showed low, and there was no difference of clinicopathological features between Ep-CAM high and low-expression group. High-Ep-CAM expression group showed significantly good prognosis in overall survival (3-year survival; 56.2 versus 19.2%, P0.0018) as well as in disease-free survival (3-year survival; 40.3 versus 14.4%, P0.038) compared with low-expression group. In addition, the impact of Ep-CAM was observed strongly in LN-negative group when the influence of Ep-CAM was examined with dividing patients into LN-positive and negative group. In multivariate analysis, Ep-CAM expression was one of the independent prognostic factors as well as histology and lymph node metastasis. Ep-CAM expression was found to be related to the suppression of pancreatic cancer cell activity and the good prognosis in pancreatic cancer patients receiving the curative resection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3468-3476
Number of pages9
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Aug 4 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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