Vol 47, No 4 (2009)
Original paper
Published online: 2010-05-01

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Expression of syndecan-1 and cathepsins D and K in advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Justyna Szumilo, Franciszek Burdan, Krzysztof Zinkiewicz, Jaroslaw Dudka, Robert Klepacz, Andrzej Dabrowski, Elzbieta Korobowicz
DOI: 10.2478/v10042-008-0012-8
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2009;47(4):571-578.


The key features of malignant neoplasms are their local invasiveness and metastatic potential. Syndecan-1 - integral membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan and cathepsins D and K - lysosomal proteases are important factors influencing different aspects of these processes. The study was undertaken to determine their expression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and analyze relationship to selected clinicopathological features as well as to survival. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections from 39 advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma were used for immunohistochemical staining. The epithelial and stromal staining were evaluated separately and compared to conventional clinicopathological features and one-year survival. Positive epithelial immunostaining for syndecan-1, cathepsin D and K were observed in 82.05%, 56.41% and 30.77% of tumors, respectively. However, stromal staining was noted in 51.28%, 51.28% and 46.15% ones, respectively. Epithelial syndecan-1-positive cases were significantly more frequent in well- and moderately differentiated carcinomas. Stromal cathepsin D expression predominated in tumors with infiltrative growth pattern. However, there were no statistically significant differences between any marker-positive and -negative groups with respect to other clinicopathological features studied. The only factors significantly influencing one-year survival were epithelial cathepsin D staining and distant metastasis. In a group of patients who survived one year post surgery, the percentage of cases with negative epithelial cathepsin D staining and without features of distant metastasis were higher. The results may suggest a relationship between syndecan-1 and cathepsins D and K with growth and invasiveness of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, but such thesis requires further study on a larger and more heterogeneous population.

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