Overexpression of tyrosine kinase B protein as a predictor for distant metastases and prognosis in gastric carcinoma

Oncology. 2008;75(1-2):17-26. doi: 10.1159/000151615. Epub 2008 Aug 22.


Objective: Tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) is associated with aggressive behavior and poor prognosis in various cancers. Here we examined the association between TrkB expression and distant metastases/prognosis in gastric carcinoma (GC).

Patients and methods: We analyzed TrkB expression in 161 GC patients by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. The correlation of TrkB mRNA and protein expression levels was examined in 10 patients by RT-PCR assay.

Results: TrkB expression was of level 1 in 97 (60.2%) and level 2 in 64 (39.8%) patients. Patients with level 2 expression had a significantly higher incidence of distant metastases (p < 0.0001), well-differentiated tumors (p < 0.005), deeper depth of invasion (p < 0.005) and poorer disease-free and overall survival (p < 0.0001 each) compared to patients with level 1. Multivariate analysis identified the level of TrkB expression as an independent prognostic factor for both disease-free and overall survival (p < 0.01 and p < 0.0001, respectively). Both lymph node metastasis (odds ratio = 10.7) and TrkB expression (odds ratio = 9.3) were independent predictors of distant metastases.

Conclusion: A high level of TrkB expression was observed in well-differentiated GC subtypes and is a predictor for distant metastases and prognosis in GC.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / biosynthesis*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / secondary
  • Survival Analysis


  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases