Expression of CD44 variants and its association with survival in pancreatic cancer

Jpn J Cancer Res. 1998 Oct;89(10):1033-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.1998.tb00493.x.


Since the CD44 variant 6(v6) molecule has been noted as a marker for tumor metastasis and prognosis in several tumors, we examined whether or not v6 is a useful marker for evaluating the prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients. In addition, we attempted to assess the clinicopathological implications for pancreatic cancer of the variant 2 (v2) isoform using a recently developed monoclonal antibody against a v2 epitope. The expression of CD44 variants was evaluated immunohistochemically in paraffin-embedded pancreatic cancer tissues from 42 patients who were confirmed surgically and histologically to have received curative resection. An indirect immunoperoxidase method was used with monoclonal antibodies against epitopes of the standard (CD44s) portion, v6 and v2. Protein expression data were evaluated statistically for any correlations with the length of survival or with histological parameters. The expression of CD44v6 and v2 was observed only in tumor cells, if at all. On the other hand, expression of total CD44 (including CD44v, as well as CD44s) was observed in both tumors and adjacent normal sites. Tumor tissue from 21 (50%) and 16 (38%) patients showed positive immunoreactivity with mAb 2F10 (anti-CD44v6) and mAb M23.6.1 (anti-CD44v2), respectively. The expression of CD44v6 and v2 was correlated with decreased overall survival (P = 0.0160 and P = 0.0125, respectively). A significant correlation was obtained between CD44v2 peptide expression and vessel invasion (P = 0.026). These results suggest that CD44v2 and CD44v6 may be useful markers for poor prognosis in curatively resected primary pancreatic cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / genetics*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / genetics*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Probability
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors


  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Hyaluronan Receptors