Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Surg Oncol. 1999 Apr-May;6(3):298-304.

Significance of Fas and retinoblastoma protein expression during the progression of Barrett's metaplasia to adenocarcinoma.

Author information

Department of Pathology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer and Research Institute and University of South Florida, Tampa 33612, USA.



Barrett's esophagus (BE) is a premalignant lesion characterized by replacement of normal squamous epithelium with columnar epithelium. This lesion can progress to dysplasia and adenocarcinoma. Recently, the Fas receptor and retinoblastoma (Rb) protein have been described as important mediators of apoptosis and tumor suppression, respectively. This study was undertaken to examine their expression during the progression of metaplasia to adenocarcinoma in BE.


In a review of 56 adenocarcinomas arising in BE, the specimen blocks were examined using the immunohistochemical avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex technique. For each specimen, areas of normal epithelium were compared with areas of metaplasia, dysplasia, or carcinoma (when present). Monoclonal mouse anti-human antibodies were used to identify Rb protein (Rb-Ab5, 1/50 dilution; Oncogene Science) and the 40-50-kDa cell membrane Fas protein (APO-1/Fas, 1/5 dilution; DAKO Corp.).


Loss of Rb staining was observed as the metaplasia progressed to dysplasia and carcinoma, indicating accumulation of unstainable aberrant protein. Conversely, Fas protein staining was undetectable or weak in normal or metaplastic epithelium, increasing in the areas of high-grade dysplasia and carcinoma. These differences were statistically significant (P < .001).


The accumulation of abnormal Rb protein during the progression of Barrett's metaplasia to carcinoma leads to unsuppressed tumor growth. Fas overexpression may represent a cellular attempt to balance the uncontrolled tumor proliferation by promoting apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center