Aberrant expression of N-glycolyl GM3 ganglioside is associated with the aggressive biological behavior of human sarcomas

BMC Cancer. 2019 Jun 10;19(1):556. doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-5743-9.


Background: The aberrant expression of N-glycolyl GM3 ganglioside (NeuGcGM3) in patients with sarcomas was reevaluated by assessing the relation of this molecule with some clinicopathological features and overall survival (OS) of patients.

Methods: Fifty formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded specimens from patients diagnosed with sarcomas were included. For the evaluation of NeuGcGM3, the 14F7 monoclonal antibody followed by a peroxidase avidin-biotin system was used. Clinicopathological features were obtained from patient records. Survival rates were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log-rank test. For multivariate analyses, the Cox regression model was used to identify independent prognostic factors for OS.

Results: The majority of samples had high levels of NeuGcGM3 expression (66.0%) that showed statistical correlation with age (p = 0.014), TNM stage (p = 0.022), histological grade (p = 0.013) and proliferation rates (p = 0.012). In addition, a tendency for association with tumor depth (p = 0.070) was evidenced. In univariate survival analysis, TNM stage (p = 0.000), occurrence of metastasis (p = 0.000) and expression of NeuGcGM3 (p = 0.034) were significant prognostic factors for OS, while a tendency for association was evidenced for histological grade (p = 0.091). Among these variables, only the presence of metastasis (p = 0.001) was an independent prognostic factor on multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: The present research suggests the evaluation of NeuGcGM3 expression as a complementary prognostic factor in sarcoma, although our results need to be validated in a larger series and prospective studies. Moreover, our results could support the use of this molecule as a target for immunotherapy.

Keywords: Clinicopathological parameters; Immunohistochemistry; N-Glycolyl GM3 ganglioside; Overall survival; Sarcomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • G(M3) Ganglioside / analogs & derivatives*
  • G(M3) Ganglioside / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sarcoma / metabolism*
  • Sarcoma / mortality
  • Survival Analysis
  • Young Adult


  • G(M3) Ganglioside
  • N-glycolylneuraminyllactosylceramide