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Br J Cancer. 2014 Jun 10;110(12):2923-34. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.228. Epub 2014 May 22.

Tropomyosin-related receptor kinase B at the invasive front and tumour cell dedifferentiation in gastric cancer.

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  • 1Department of Gastrointestinal and Pediatric Surgery, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-174 Edobashi, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan.



Tropomyosin-related receptor kinase B (TrkB) promotes proliferation and invasion, relating to poor prognosis of various malignancies. We examined the role of TrkB at the invasive front of gastric cancer (GC) and its association with tumour cell dedifferentiation and tumour budding.


Immunoreactive TrkB was evaluated at the tumour centre and margin using whole-tissue sections of 320 GC patients. Tumour cell dedifferentiation was defined as higher histologic grade at the tumour margin than the surface or tumour centre. Tumour budding was also scored on cytokeratin-stained sections.


Sixty-five patients (20%) showed higher TrkB expression at the invasive front (TrkB expression was higher at the tumour margin than tumour centre). It was significantly associated with several aggressive phenotypes in the full cohort (n=320). It showed a prognostic significance in test subgroup (n=98) and was identified as an independent prognostic factor (HR=2.09; 95% CI: 1.26-3.53) by multivariate analysis in validation subgroup (n=222). Twenty-one patients showed tumour cell dedifferentiation. In predominantly differentiated tumour, higher TrkB at the invasive front was significantly associated with tumour budding rather than tumour cell dedifferentiation.


Assessment of immunoreactive TrkB at the invasive front by whole-tissue sections provides prognostic information for GC patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
[Available on 2015-06-10]
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