Background: Esophageal carcinoma is common in many countries, and it is characterized by poor prognosis and rapid clinical progression with a high frequency of lymph node metastasis and recurrence. The present study was carried out to evaluate the correlation between vascular endothelial cell marker (CD34), matrix metalloproteinase type 9 (MMP9), and DNA content in esophageal carcinoma.
Methods: A total of 38 patients were classified with histopathologic examination as 8 cases with adenocarcinoma, 24 cases with squamous cell carcinoma, and the last 6 cases with undifferentiated carcinoma. The obtained results of the patient group were compared with the results of 6 cases with proven normal esophageal mucosa as a control group. The samples of patients and controls were subjected to immunohistochemical evaluation of CD34 and MMP9 expression along with DNA index determination using flow cytometry.
Results: There was a significant difference between patients and normal cases in DNA index, CD34, and MMP9 pattern (P = 0.003, <0.001, and 0.002, respectively). DNA index was positively correlated with MMP9 (r = 0.574, P < 0.001) and with CD34 (r = 0.562, P < 0.001). MMP9 was correlated with CD34 (r = 0.55, P < 0.001). A significant difference was found in both microvessel density and MMP9 expression with respect to tumor grade and stage. The microvessel density in patients with highly positive staining for MMP9 was higher than in those with negative and weak staining for MMP9 (P = 0.002).
Conclusion: The analysis of DNA content along with detection of CD34 and MMP9 in esophageal cancer can successfully differentiate the different pathologic lesions and hence can be used powerfully in disease prognosis reflecting valuable information about the aggressiveness and activity of those lesions.