Purpose: To evaluate whether pretherapeutic serum soluble E-cadherin is an independent factor predicting long-term survival in gastric cancer. Gastric cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world, but a satisfactory tumor marker is currently unavailable for gastric cancer. Soluble E-cadherin has recently been found to have prognostic value in gastric cancer.
Patients and methods: One hundred sixteen patients with histologically proven gastric adenocarcinoma were included in the trial. Pretherapeutic serum was collected, and soluble E-cadherin was assayed using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. The patients were followed up prospectively at the outpatient clinic.
Results: There were 75 men and 41 women, with a mean (+/- SD) age of 66 +/- 14 years. Forty-eight percent of tumors were located in the gastric antrum. The median survival time was 11 months. The mean pretherapeutic value of soluble E-cadherin was 9,159 ng/mL (range, 6,002 to 10,025 ng/mL), and the mean pretherapeutic level of carcinoembryonic antigen was 11 ng/mL (range, 0.3 to 4,895 ng/mL). On multivariate analysis, soluble E-cadherin is an independent factor predicting long-term survival. Ninety percent of patients with a serum level of E-cadherin greater than 10,000 ng/mL had a survival time of less than 3 years (P =.009).
Conclusion: Soluble E-cadherin is a potentially valuable pretherapeutic prognostic factor in patients with gastric cancer.