Prognostic role of E-cadherin and Vimentin expression in various subtypes of soft tissue leiomyosarcomas

Med Oncol. 2013 Mar;30(1):401. doi: 10.1007/s12032-012-0401-y. Epub 2013 Jan 5.


The gain of E-cadherin and loss of Vimentin known as "Cadherin switching" resulting in epithelial differentiation play an important role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis. In soft tissue leiomyosarcoma (LMS), aberrant expression of E-cadherin and down-regulation of Vimentin-related Mesenchymal to Epithelial Reverting Transition was defined, but the role of these proteins in various subtypes of LMS have not been well demonstrated yet. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic role of E-cadherin and Vimentin expression in 45 soft tissue leiomyosarcoma samples by Immunohistochemistry analysis. E-cadherin was positive in a small proportion of LMS, accounting for 15.6 % (7/45). All LMS samples expressed Vimentin, concluding 20 patients as strong positive group (44.4 %), 25 patients as week positive group (55.6 %). Although the aberrant expression of E-cadherin had no differences among various subtypes of LMS, it was significantly associated with early clinical stages. The patients with strong positive expression of Vimentin suffered significant high risk of recurrence and metastasis and also had significant worse overall survival. These data suggest that the epithelial differentiation of LMS evaluated by E-cadherin expression does not belong to certain subtypes in LMS. The patients with the gain of E-cadherin and loss of Vimentin expression represent favorable trend of survival. They might serve as good biomarkers of the LMS clinical outcome after further investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Cadherins / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Leiomyosarcoma / metabolism*
  • Leiomyosarcoma / mortality
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / mortality
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vimentin / biosynthesis*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cadherins
  • Vimentin