Background: The purpose of our study was to investigate the immunohistochemical expression of TGF-beta1 and p27 in pancreatic adenocarcinomas and to compare the findings with the clinicopathological features and survival. We also aimed to evaluate the expression of TGF-beta1 and p27 in the context of other cell cycle and proliferation markers such as cyclin D1 and Ki-67.
Methods: We examined TGF-beta1 and p27 expression immunohistochemically in 63 cases of invasive ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Standard streptavidin-biotin immunperoxidase method was used for immunostaining and the stained slides were examined microscopically using semiquantitative criteria.
Results: TGF-beta1 stained the cytoplasms of the tumor cells in 43 cases [68.3%]. There was a statistically significant difference among TGF-beta1 staining scores in terms of clinicopathologic factors such as blood vessel invasion, stage and distant metastasis [p < 0.05]. Of the 63 tumors evaluated 23 [36.5%] were positive for p27 within the nucleus. An inverse correlation was found between p27 immunoreactivity and grade [p < 0.05]. But no significant correlation was found between p27 and other parameters. Among the patients with survival data 27 patients had RO resections and these cases were considered in survival analysis. In the univariate analysis, neither TGF-beta1 nor p27 expression was related with patient survival.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that in pancreatic carcinoma, TGF-beta1 expression is related to tumor growth and metastasis. But it is not associated with cell cycle proteins. p27 expression is reduced in pancreatic adenocarcinomas and decreased protein levels of p27 may play a role in the differentiation of pancreatic cancer.