J. Cancer Mol. 3:
Expression and Prognostic Significance of EpCAM
Went, Stephan Dirnhofer,
Holger Moch, and Gilbert Spizzo
Institute of Pathology, University of Basel, Switzerland [P. Went, S.
Dirnhofer]; Department of Radiology [D.
and Division of Haematology & Oncology [G. Spizzo], Innsbruck Medical
Institute of Surgical Pathology, University of Zurich, Switzerland [H.
EpCAM (CD326) is a transmembrane glycoprotein on epithelial cells. To
assess its expression, an increasing number of commercially available
antibodies combined with multiple staining protocols with varying
sensitivities and specificities are in use. There is no consensus about
definition of positivity. Systematic and reliable comparison of results
is therefore hampered. To maximise the reproducibility of the results,
we investigated EpCAM expression on tissue microarrays.
The murine monoclonal antibody ESA (clone
VU-1D9) was used at a dilution of 1:800 after antigen retrieval
by microwave at 80¢XC for 30 min. Tissue microarrays containing
gastrointestinal carcinoids (n = 91) and endometrial (n = 316) and
esophageal (n = 54) carcinomas were analysed and the results were
compared with clinicopathological features.
In gastrointestinal carcinoids,
87% of cases had strong EpCAM expression, and less than 2% were
completely EpCAM-negative. This EpCAM expression was not associated
with tumor localization within the
All endometrial and esophageal carcinomas expressed EpCAM to some
extent, but there was no correlation of EpCAM expression with
histological grade, tumor stage or patient survival in the uterus and
EpCAM was frequently expressed in adenocarcinomas of the uterus,
esophageal squamous cell carcinomas and gastrointestinal carcinoids.
This high frequency makes these tumors as potential targets of anti-EpCAM
therapies and may render individual testing before application of the
EpCAM; tissue microarray; squamous cell carcinoma;
Received 12/10/07; Revised 1/03/08; Accepted 1/06/08.
Dr. Philip Went, Institute of Pathology, City Hospital,
Birmensdorferstrasse 497, 8063 Zurich, Switzerland. Phone:
41-44-4661384. Fax: 41-44-4662138. E-mail: email@example.com
squamous cell carcinoma; GIT, gastrointestinal tract; TMA, tissue
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