Author(s): Mayer B, Jauch KW, Gnthert U, Figdor CG, Schildberg FW,
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Abstract We have examined the cell surface molecule CD44, which is attracting interest because of reports that isoforms are associated with metastasis. The prognostic value of CD44 expression has yet to be assessed for a solid tumour. Benign (59) and malignant (primary 61, metastatic 59) gastric tissues were examined with antibodies directed at epitopes common to known CD44 isoforms. Normal mucosa was CD44 negative. In atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia expression was restricted to the epithelial cells of the basal glands and was positively correlated with an increased leucocyte infiltrate and with the expression of HLA DR by mucosal cells. These observations suggest a role for chronic inflammation in the induction of CD44 expression on benign mucosa. No such association was observed between inflammatory infiltrate and CD44 expression on gastric tumours. CD44 expression, observed in only 49\% of primary tumours, was associated with distant metastases at time of diagnosis and, among 31 curatively resected patients, with tumour recurrence (p = 0.0014) and increased mortality (p = 0.001) during follow-up averaging 17 months. When we used an antibody directed against the CD44 variant exon 9v, we found a good correlation between the expression of total CD44 and of exon 9v containing isoforms, and 9v expression in primary tumours was significantly and positively associated with tumour recurrence and mortality.
This article was published in Lancet
and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis