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Virchows Arch. 2007 Sep;451(3):649-57. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

Prognostic factors for ampullary adenocarcinomas: tumor stage, tumor histology, tumor location, immunohistochemistry and microsatellite instability.

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  • 1Division of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Human Morphology, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.


Prognostic factors for ampullary carcinomas (ACs) are poorly defined. Fifty three resected ACs were analyzed for CDX2, MUC1, MUC5AC, MUC6, MUC2, and for mismatch repair proteins (hMLH1, hMSH2, PMS2, hMSH6) using immunohistochemistry. Microsatellite instability (MSI) status was evaluated by fluorescently labeled PCR using an automated sequencer. Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed for clinicopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular parameters. CDX2 was found in 32 out of 53 (60%) ACs with a significantly higher frequency among intestinal ACs compared with biliopancreatic (BP) ACs. The MUC1, MUC5AC, MUC6, MUC2 apomucins were expressed in 75, 43, 39, and 28% of ACs, respectively, with a significantly higher coexpression of MUC1/MUC5AC in BP ACs. MSI and loss of expression of hMLH1/PMS2 or hMSH2/hMSH6 proteins were observed only in intestinal ACs. Factors significantly correlated with improved survival in the univariate analysis were: low stage, absence of lymph nodes metastases, negative surgical margins (R0 status), and presence of MSI. In the multivariate analysis, stage was the only independent prognostic factor of survival. We conclude that stage is the only independent prognostic factor of survival in the multivariate analysis, whereas histological criteria and the immunohistochemical expression of apomucins and CDX2 are helpful in the classification and understanding of the histogenesis of ACs.

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