Background: Malignant cells show increased glucose uptake in vitro and in vivo, which is believed to be facilitated by glucose transporters (Gluts). Expression of Glut1, one of the Gluts, has been described in malignancies of the esophagus, colon, pancreas, lung, and brain, but to the authors' knowledge the significance of Glut1 expression in human gastric carcinoma has not been elucidated. The objective of the current study was to examine the expression and distribution of Glut1 and its relation to clinicopathologic parameters in patients with gastric carcinoma.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry with anti-Glut1 antibody was performed on 617 gastric carcinomas and 50 tubular adenomas of the stomach. Glut1-positive and Glut1-negative carcinomas were analyzed for their clinicopathologic characteristics including histologic subtype, depth of invasion, vascular permeation, lymph node and hepatic metastasis, peritoneal dissemination, and prognosis.
Results: None of the adenomas expressed Glut1, whereas 182 of 617 carcinomas (29.5%) were positive for the protein. Signet ring cell carcinoma and mucinous adenocarcinoma rarely were positive (2.0% and 6.3%, respectively) and papillary adenocarcinoma (44%) showed slightly higher positivity for Glut1 than tubular (32%) or poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (28%). Glut1-positive tumor cells were localized mainly in the central part of tumor nests with or without peripheral distribution (92%) but peripheral distribution alone was very limited (8%) (P = 0.0001). Glut1 positivity was associated with depth of invasion (P = 0.0001), lymphatic permeation (P = 0.0001), venous invasion (P = 0.0001), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.0001), hepatic metastasis (P = 0.0001), and carcinoma stage (P = 0.0001). However, peritoneal dissemination was not found to be associated with Glut1 positivity (P = 0.0833). The survival of patients who had tumors that expressed Glut1 was significantly shorter than that of patients with Glut1-negative tumors (P = 0.0001).
Conclusions: In human gastric carcinoma, Glut1 is expressed late in carcinogesis and increases with disease progression. Glut1 expression is associated with tumor aggressiveness and patient survival.
Copyright 2001 American Cancer Society.