Decrease of CD44-positive cells correlates with tumor response to chemotherapy in patients with gastrointestinal cancer

Anticancer Res. 2012 May;32(5):1747-55.


Background/aim: CD44 is a multistructural and multifunctional cell surface molecule which is involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, migration and angiogenesis. Here we investigated the potential role of CD44 in patients with metastasized pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, colorectal and stomach cancer, which were treated with different combinations of palliative chemotherapy.

Patients and methods: CD44 expression was measured by flow cytometry in patients' (n=15) blood samples and the findings were correlated with CA19-9 expression and with computed tomography results.

Results: We found a significant correlation (p<0.05) between the CD44 decrease and the tumor response according to the tumor marker elevation/ response evaluation criteria in solid tumors.

Conclusion: We were able to monitor changes of CD44 expression after chemotherapy and detected a correlation between the CD44 decrease and the patients' response to treatment. Our findings show that CD44 detection helps to monitor chemotherapy response in patients with gastrointestinal cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • CA-19-9 Antigen / blood
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / analysis*
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • CA-19-9 Antigen
  • CD44 protein, human
  • Hyaluronan Receptors