Background: E-Cadherin plays a major role in maintaining the intercellular junctions in epithelial tissues. The reduction of E-cadherin expression in cancer cells may be associated with tumor differentiation, metastasis, and a poor prognosis.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry for E-cadherin expression was performed on 109 tumors from patients with non-small cell lung cancer who underwent operations.
Results: With respect to membranous immunostaining, 57 carcinomas were E-cadherin-positive, 39 carcinomas E-cadherin-reduced, and 13 carcinomas E-cadherin-negative. The percentage of poorly differentiated tumors in the impaired E-cadherin expression group was significantly higher than that in the E-cadherin-positive group (p = 0.005). Furthermore, the frequency of lymph node metastases in tumors with impaired E-cadherin expression was significantly higher than that in the E-cadherin-positive tumors (p = 0.011). A Cox regression analysis revealed that E-cadherin expression was a significant factor in the prediction of survival for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (p = 0.002).
Conclusions: E-Cadherin expression was associated with tumor differentiation, lymph node metastasis, and prognosis in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.