Author(s): Stoecklein NH, Siegmund A, Scheunemann P, Luebke AM, Erbersdobler A, , Stoecklein NH, Siegmund A, Scheunemann P, Luebke AM, Erbersdobler A,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: To evaluate the expression and test the clinical significance of the epithelial cellular adhesion molecule (Ep-CAM) in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) to check the suitability of esophageal SCC patients for Ep-CAM directed targeted therapies. METHODS: The Ep-CAM expression was immunohistochemically investigated in 70 primary esophageal SCCs using the monoclonal antibody Ber-EP4. For the interpretation of the staining results, we used a standardized scoring system ranging from 0 to 3+. The survival analysis was calculated from 53 patients without distant metastasis, with R0 resection and at least 2 months of clinical follow-up. RESULTS: Ep-CAM neo-expression was observed in 79\% of the tumors with three expression levels, 1+ (26\%), 2+ (11\%) and 3+ (41\%). Heterogeneous expression was observed at all expression levels. Interestingly, tumors with 3+ Ep-CAM expression conferred a significantly decreased median relapse-free survival period (log rank, p = 0.0001) and median overall survival (log rank, p = 0.0003). Multivariate survival analysis disclosed Ep-CAM 3+ expression as independent prognostic factor. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest Ep-CAM as an attractive molecule for targeted therapy in esophageal SCC. Considering the discontenting results of the current adjuvant concepts for esophageal SCC patients, Ep-CAM might provide a promising target for an adjuvant immunotherapeutic intervention.
This article was published in BMC Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Liver