Expression of the adenocarcinoma-related antigen recognized by monoclonal antibody 44-3A6 in salivary gland neoplasias

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998 May;118(5):603-9. doi: 10.1177/019459989811800507.


The monoclonal antibody 44-3A6 detects a cell-surface protein that has been shown to be a useful marker in distinguishing adenocarcinomas from other histologic tumor types in a variety of tissues. The objective of this study was to determine whether 44-3A6 could be used as a tool in the classification of salivary gland neoplasms. These complex tumors share overlapping pathologic features but distinct clinical outcomes. This study used 44-3A6 to immunohistochemically describe the pattern and frequency of this antigen in salivary gland neoplasms. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of 22 benign and 26 malignant salivary tumors were evaluated. The patient population consisted of 25 (52.1%) women and 23 (47.9%) men selected from archival pathology files to reflect a range of salivary gland diseases. Normal surrounding salivary glands were found to have intense focal staining almost exclusively localized to ductal luminal cells. There was little staining of either myoepithelial or acinar cells. A wide spectrum of expression was found between and within tumor types, but a trend toward more expression of this antigen with decreasing differentiation was seen. A significant increase in staining was also seen in those tumors with ductal differentiation (n = 41) as opposed to those with predominantly acinar (i.e., acinic cell carcinoma) or myoepithelial (i.e., myoepithelioma; n = 8) differentiation (2.6 vs. 1.3, p < 0.05). No correlation was found between staining intensity and facial paralysis, pain, skin involvement, TNM stage, residual disease, or disease-free or total survival. Therefore this antigen appears to designate a duct luminal phenotype in normal and neoplastic salivary tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / classification
  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis*
  • Antigens, Surface / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Acinar Cell / classification
  • Carcinoma, Acinar Cell / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Acinar Cell / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Coloring Agents
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Facial Pain / physiopathology
  • Facial Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myoepithelioma / classification
  • Myoepithelioma / immunology
  • Myoepithelioma / pathology
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasm, Residual / pathology
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Salivary Ducts / pathology
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / classification*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / immunology
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Salivary Glands / pathology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Survival Rate


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Coloring Agents
  • Neoplasm Proteins