Wnt-pathway activation in intestinal-type sinonasal adenocarcinoma

Rhinology. 2011 Dec;49(5):593-9. doi: 10.4193/Rhino.11.037.


Background: Intestinal-type sinonasal adenocarcinoma (ITAC) is an epithelial cancer of the sinonasal sinuses that shows histological similarity to colorectal cancer (CRC) and share chronic inflammation as a possible etiological factor. The Wnt-pathway is one of the most important tumourigenic pathways in CRC. The aim of this study was to investigate if the Wnt-pathway is activated in ITAC.

Methodology: Protein expression profiles of E-cadherin, β-catenin, c-myc and cyclin D1 were analysed by immunohistochemistry in 83 samples of ITAC, organized into tissue microarray blocks.

Results: Nuclear β-catenin expression was observed in 31% of the cases and was twice as frequent in papillary/colonic ITAC compared to solid/mucinous subtypes. Loss of membranous β-catenin staining occurred in 24% and loss of membranous E-cadherin in 6% of the cases and this was more prominent in mucinous types. Strong c-myc and cyclin D1 expression was observed in 30% and 4% of the cases, respectively. Nuclear β-catenin expression was significantly related to poor clinical outcome, independent from established factors as tumour stage and histological type.

Conclusion: The presence of nuclear β-catenin in 31% of patients with ITACs indicated that in a subset of patients, the Wnt-pathway is active and conveys a worse prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / physiopathology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cyclin D1 / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / mortality
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Array Analysis
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • Cadherins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MYCBP protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • beta Catenin
  • Cyclin D1