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Int J Biol Markers. 2001 Jan-Mar;16(1):31-6.

Expression and clinical significance of pepsinogen C in resectable pancreatic cancer.

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Department of General Surgery, Hospital de Jove, Gijón, Spain.


Pepsinogen C is an aspartyl-proteinase usually involved in the digestion of proteins in the stomach, and an androgen- inducible protein in breast cancer cells. In this study we evaluated its expression and clinical significance in patients with resectable pancreatic cancer. Pepsinogen C expression was examined by immunohistochemical methods in a series of 73 pancreatic carcinomas. The prognostic value of pepsinogen C was retrospectively evaluated by multivariate analysis. A total of 21 (28.8%) pancreatic carcinomas stained positively for pepsinogen C. The percentage of pepsinogen C-positive tumors was significantly higher in well-differentiated tumors (38.3%) than in moderately differentiated (15.8%) and poorly differentiated (O%) tumors (p<0.05). In addition, statistical analysis revealed that pepsinogen C expression was associated with clinical outcome. Thus, patients with pepsinogen C-negative tumors have a poorer overall survival than those with pepsinogen C-positive tumors. Our results led us to consider that the expression of pepsinogen C may represent a useful biological marker in pancreatic cancer. Expression of this protein may be a marker of gastric-type differentiation of the tumors and it might also reflect the existence of a complete hormone receptor pathway in a subset of pancreatic carcinomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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