Prognostic and clinicopathological significance of downregulated E-cadherin expression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): a meta-analysis

PLoS One. 2014 Jun 30;9(6):e99763. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099763. eCollection 2014.


Background: Many studies have investigated the prognostic role of E-cadherin in patients with NSCLC; however, the result still remains inconclusive. An up-to data system review and meta-analysis was necessary to give a comprehensive evaluation of prognostic role of E-cadherin in NSCLC.

Methods: Eligible studies were searched in Pubmed, Embase and Web of Science databases. The inclusion criteria were studies that assessed the relationship between E-cadherin expression detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and the prognosis or clinicopathological features in patients with NSCLC. Subgroup analysis according to race, percentage of reduced/negative E-cadherin expression, histological type, and sample size were also conducted. Odds ratio (OR) or hazard ratio (HR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated to examine the risk or hazard association.

Results: A total of 29 studies including 4010 patients were qualified for analysis. The analysis suggested that downregulated E-cadherin expression was significant associated with unfavorable overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival/progression-free survival (DFS/PFS) in patients with NSCLC. Subgroup analysis by race, percentage of reduced/negative E-cadherin expression, sample size also found the significant association in OS. When only the stage I NSCLC were considered, downregulated E-cadherin expression still had an unfavorable impact on OS. Additionally, downregulated E-cadherin expression was significantly associated with differentiation grade, lymphnode metastasis, vascular invasion, and TNM stage.

Conclusion: Downregulated E-cadherin expression detected by IHC seems to correlate with tumour progression and could serve as an important prognostic factor in patients with NSCLC.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers
  • Cadherins

Grant support

This work was supported by the Guangxi Scientific Research and Technology Development projects (grant no. 10124001A- 47). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.