Purpose: Metastasis remains an incurable common complication in patients with gastric cancer. A variety of theories have been proposed to explain the inefficiency of the metastatic process. To compare protein expression of metastasis-related genes (nm23, KISS1, KAI1 and p53) between primary tumours and metastatic tumours may be useful in illustrating these theories.
Methods: Metastasis-related tissue microarrays (including normal tissues, primary tumours, nodal metastases and liver metastases) were constructed. The protein expression of nm23, KISS1, KAI1 and p53 in lymph node and liver metastases from advanced gastric cancer specimens was mainly examined by immunohistochemical staining in relation to primary tumours.
Results: Immunohistochemical staining showed reduced protein expression of nm23, KISS1 and KAI1 in lymph node and liver metastases compared with primary tumours. Results for p53 were to the contrary.
Conclusions: Our investigations revealed a tendency of reduced protein expression of metastasis suppressor genes nm23, KISS1 and KAI1 in gastric cancer with the progress of metastasis. This means that the progression theory is an important determinant of metastatic efficiency.