Background: Survivin, an inhibitor of apoptosis is expressed in several human cancers. Its expression is known to be associated with poor clinical outcome, but not widely studied in pancreatic cancer. We performed this study to determine the survivin expression in pancreatic cancer and its clinical significance as a prognostic factor.
Methods: We performed immunohistochemical staining for survivin, p53, and Bax in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded block from forty-nine pancreatic tissues. To determine the association with clinical course, we reviewed the patients' clinical record.
Results: Of the 49 cases of pancreatic cancer, 46 cases (93.9%) were positive for survivin expression. There was no significant association between survivin expression and p53 or bax. For clinicopathological parameters, perineural invasion was more common in survivin positive and venous invasion was more common in survivin negative (p = 0.041 and 0.040, respectively). Responsiveness to chemotherapy appeared to be slightly better in patients with low survivin expression.
Conclusion: Survivin expression may be associated with venous or perineural invasion, indicating metastatic route, and seems to have a potential as a predictive marker for chemotherapy. Further study of large scale is required to determine the clinical significance of survivin expression in pancreatic cancer.