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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2013 Oct;48(10):1183-7. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2013.832368.

Comparison of MUC4 expression in primary pancreatic cancer and paired lymph node metastases.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, and Sk√•ne University Hospital , Lund , Sweden.


OBJECTIVE. Mucin 4 (MUC4) is a transmembrane glycoprotein that is expressed in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), but not in normal pancreatic tissue. MUC4 has a proposed role in pancreatic tumor progression and metastasis. The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate MUC4 expression during PDAC metastasis by comparing the expression in the primary tumor and paired lymph node metastases from the same patient. MATERIAL AND METHODS. Surgical specimens from 17 cases of primary PDAC and paired lymph node metastases were immunohistochemically analyzed for MUC4 expression. The modified histochemical score (H-score) was used for staining assessment. RESULTS. Positive staining for MUC4 was detected in most primary and metastatic PDAC tumors (15/17 vs. 14/17). The concordance for MUC4 expression in primary tumors and corresponding lymph node metastases was 82%. In two cases, the primary tumor was MUC4-positive and the lymph node metastases were negative, while in one patient with a MUC4-negative primary tumor, the lymph node metastasis was positive. The distribution of H-score for expression of MUC4 significantly correlated (r = 0.615; p = 0.009) between primary tumors and paired metastatic lesions.


MUC4 was observed in both primary and matched metastatic tumors with a high level of concordance, suggesting that MUC4 expression is retained following PDAC metastasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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