CD133 Expression as a Helicobacter pylori-independent Biomarker of Gastric Cancer Progression

Anticancer Res. 2018 Aug;38(8):4443-4448. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.12746.


Background/aim: Gastric adenocarcinoma is the fourth most common cancer worldwide. While gastric cancer prevalence varies globally and incidence rates are decreasing in the West, many cases continue to be diagnosed at an advanced stage and the 5-year survival rate still falls below 30%. Early treatment of gastric cancer by endoscopic and/or surgical therapy may decrease mortality; yet reliable, universally applicable biomarkers for early detection of gastric cancer have still not been established.

Materials and methods: The present work compares the expression of CD133 (prominin-1), a potential biomarker of disease progression in gastric cancer, between independent cohorts of H. pylori (+) and H. pylori (-) patients at each respective stage of carcinogenesis. H. pylori (-) patients (N=45) who underwent gastric biopsy at the Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC) in Tampa, Florida, and H. pylori (+) patients (N=59) who underwent gastric biopsy at the Instituto de Patologia Mejia Jimenez (IPMJ) in Cali, Colombia were evaluated and immunostained for CD133.

Results: A statistically significant increase in CD133 expression (in terms of the Allred score) was observed between all stages of progression (normal mucosa, inflammation/metaplasia, low-grade dysplasia and gastric adenocarcinoma) for each respective patient cohort. No statistically significant difference in CD133 expression at each respective stage of disease was observed between the H. pylori-positive and negative-cohorts.

Conclusion: The observation of distinct stepwise increases in CD133 expression in both patient cohorts, and the lack of any significant difference between groups, suggests that CD133 expression may serve as a biomarker for early detection of gastric cancer independent of bacterial status and strain, and corresponding differences in disease histomorphology and classification. This warrants further validation on larger independent cohorts across multiple geographic regions and incorporating multiple bacterial strain types.

Keywords: CD133; Helicobacter pylori; gastric adenocarcinoma; gastric cancer biomarker.

MeSH terms

  • AC133 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism
  • Gastric Mucosa / microbiology
  • Gastroscopy
  • Helicobacter Infections / metabolism*
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*


  • AC133 Antigen
  • Biomarkers
  • PROM1 protein, human