Detection of epithelial specific cell adhesion molecules in colon cancer and the correlation with clinical and pathological characteristics EpCAM expression in colon cancer

Ann Ital Chir. 2019;90:318-323.

Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between EpCAM expression in colon cancer tissue and the clinico-pathological characteristics of the patients.

Material and methods: This is a prospective, longitudinal, observational study on 80 patients undergoing for colon cancer between January - December 2017. EpCAM expression at tumoral level was analyzed in relation with clinical and pathological variables of the patients using anti-EpCAM specific antibody.

Results: EpCAM expression was predominant in tumoral tissue compared to normal colonic mucosa and most of the cases (58.7%) showed increased EpCAM expression. Although increased EpCAM expression was observed in advanced stages and in patients with advanced locoregional disease, there was no statistically significant correlation with the clinical and pathological characteristics of the patients.

Discussion: The majority of the analyzed samples showed increased EpCAM expression in tumoral tissue suggesting its involvement in the carcinogenesis process. Numerous studies have identified EpCAM overexpression in colon cancer as a negative prognostic factor, being associated with advanced stage of the disease and a poor prognosis of the patient but results are inconsistent. Nevertheless, assessing a possible correlation between EpCAM expression at tumoral level and clinico- pathological characteristics is dependent on the type of antibody used to identify the molecule of interest.

Conclusions: EpCAM detection in colon cancer using anti-human CD326/EpCAM clone VU-1D9 does not allow the correlation between its expression and the clinico-pathological characteristics of the patients and it should only be used for EpCAM identification in colon cancer tissues.

Key words: Cancer, Colon, EpCAM, Immunohistochemistry.

La diagnosi precoce di uno stadio avanzato della malattia è essenziale per iniziare un trattamento adiuvante adeguato nel carcinoma del colon. L’espressione di EpCAM è stata confermata a livello tumorale da vari studi e anche da un gruppo di studio esterno, ma le contraddizioni esistenti in letteratura riguardo alla capacità di sovraespressione di EpCAM di predire o meno uno stadio avanzato della malattia possono essere dovute ad un’insufficiente identificazione finora della molecola. L’impossibilità di stabilire il valore predittivo della molecola EpCAM nei pazienti con cancro del colon può essere dovuta a opzioni di rilevamento eterogenee utilizzate dai vari Autori. Sono necessari ulteriori studi per identificare con precisione il ruolo della molecola di EpCAM nello sviluppo del tumore e nella carcinogenesi del cancro del colon.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Colonic Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Correlation of Data
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule / analysis
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies

Substances

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • EPCAM protein, human
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule