Expression of Trk tyrosine kinase receptor is a biologic marker for cell proliferation and perineural invasion of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Oncol Rep. May-Jun 2001;8(3):477-84. doi: 10.3892/or.8.3.477.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a widely known severe malignancy with a poor prognosis. Perineural invasion extending to the extra-pancreatic nerve plexus, a significant concern in the treatment is frequently present in this cancer. We analyzed immunohistochemical expression of neurotrophins (NGF, BDNF, NT-3) and the cognate receptors, Trk tyrosine kinase receptor family (TrkA, B, C) and p75NGFR in 28 surgically resected PDAC specimens. A comparative study between several clinicopathologic factors and Trk receptors revealed a significant correlation between increased expression of TrkA and cancer proliferation, as well as TrkC and cancer invasion, including venous and perineural invasion. The present findings revealed a novel mechanism in PDAC progression that is mediated via a NTs-Trk interaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemistry*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / analysis
  • Cell Division
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Ki-67 Antigen / analysis
  • Lymphatic Vessel Tumors
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Neurotrophin 3 / analysis
  • Pancreatic Ducts*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Neoplasms / pathology
  • Polysaccharides / analysis*
  • Receptor, trkA / analysis*
  • Receptor, trkB / analysis*
  • Receptor, trkC / analysis*
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor / analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Neurotrophin 3
  • Polysaccharides
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor
  • neurotropin
  • Receptor, trkA
  • Receptor, trkB
  • Receptor, trkC