Increased S100A4 expression combined with decreased E-cadherin expression predicts a poor outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer

Oncol Rep. 2006 Sep;16(3):457-63.


The calcium-binding protein, S100A4, with an inverse association of E-cadherin, is known to correlate with prognosis in various cancers. In this study, we investigated the expression of the S100A4 and E-cadherin status in relation to the clinicopathological parameters of pancreatic cancer. The expression status of these two proteins was examined in 72 specimens of primary pancreatic carcinoma with immunohistochemistry. Fifty-six of 72 (78%) surgical specimens of primary pancreatic cancer were positive for S100A4 according to immunohistochemistry. Thirty-one (43%) specimens of pancreatic cancer showed positive expression of E-cadherin. The inverse association of S100A4 and E-cadherin expression was significant in the cancers (p < 0.0001). The S100A4 expression correlated significantly with the pathological T stage and poorer prognosis (p = 0.024). The 41 E-cadherin-negative cases showed poorer prognoses and a higher incidence of liver metastasis (p = 0.0344, p = 0.027). The 10 cases with S100A4-negative/E-cadherin-positive cancers showed a significantly better prognosis than the others (p < 0.05). The histological grade (p = 0.004), nodal status (p < 0.0001) and S100A4-positive status (p = 0.048) were highly significant independent prognostic predictors (p < 0.05). These results suggest that S100A4 overexpression combined with reduced E-cadherin expression play important roles in tumor progression and metastasis in pancreatic cancer. The combined examination of these two molecules is useful in evaluating the outcome of pancreatic cancer patient.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Prognosis
  • S100 Calcium-Binding Protein A4
  • S100 Proteins / metabolism*


  • Cadherins
  • S100 Calcium-Binding Protein A4
  • S100 Proteins
  • S100A4 protein, human