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Aberrant β-catenin activity in hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the stomach

Author(s):

Nan Wang, Rui Kong, Wei Han and Jie Lu*   Pages 1 - 11 ( 11 )

Abstract:


Background: Hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the stomach (HAS) has been recognized as a rare primary gastric tumor characterized by hepatocellular carcinoma-like histology. HAS often causes diagnostic confusion with conventional gastric adenocarcinoma (CGA) due to the difficulty to detect hepatoid differentiation solely based on findings from hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Hence, HAS should be distinguished from solid-type CGA based on their different biological behaviors. β-catenin is highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is involved in the maintenance of tumor initiating cells, drug resistance, tumor progression, and metastasis.

Methods and Results: Given the dearth of HAS cases, systematic examination of the expression of β-catenin in HAS remains under-explored. In this study, 14 cases were subjected to immunostaining with with AFP, β-catenin, glypican3, hepar-1 and CerbB-2. In parallel, the clinicopathological characteristics of these patients were collected. We detected statistically significant difference in the expression of β-catenin (P = 0.000), glypican3 (P = 0.019), and hepar-1 (P = 0.007) between HAS cancer tissues and the adjacent non-cancerous tissues. Furthermore, a significant correlation was observed between the expression of β-catenin in HAS cancer tissue and adjacent tissue (Pearson correlation coefficient: 0.686, P = 0.007). Moreover, in cancer tissues, a significant correlation was observed between the expression of β-catenin and survival time (Spearman correlationcoefficient= - 0.482, P = 0.003). However, we found the expression of β-catenin did not correlate with the degree of tumor differentiation and tumor size, age, gender, serum AFP levels, microinvasion, and metastasis (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Our findings establish β-catenin as a useful marker that can distinguish HAS from CGA and may improve the early diagnosis to guide the appropriate and timely treatment of HAS patients.

Keywords:

gastric, hepatoid, adenocarcinoma, β-catenin, alpha-fetoprotein, hepatocellular carcinoma epatocellular carcinoma

Affiliation:

Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200072, Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200072, Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200072, Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200072



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