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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2002 Mar;28(2):140-6.

Immunohistochemical prognostic indicators of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumours.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.



The aim of this study was to determine whether expression of the oncoproteins p21, p53, E-cadherin (EC), cyclin D1, bcl-2 and Rb and the proliferation marker Ki-67 is predictive of malignant behaviour in gastrointestinal carcinoid tumours.


Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining was performed on carcinoid tumours from 41 patients (31 rectal, eight gastrointestinal, two appendiceal lesions). The six tumours that had invaded deeply into the muscularis propria or beyond, had metastasized to regional lymph nodes or had metastasized to a distant site were classified as the malignant group, and the other 35 tumours formed the benign group. IHC expression was compared between the two groups, and the prognostic value of each marker was assessed.


Of the six tumours in the malignant group, 66.7% were p21 positive, 0% were p53 positive, 33.3% were EC positive, 100% were cyclin D1 positive, 33.3% were Rb positive, 16.7% were bcl-2 positive and 50% were Ki-67 positive. Of the 35 tumours in the benign group, 17.1% were p21 positive, 0% were p53 positive, 100% were EC positive, 94.3% were cyclin D1 positive, 8.6% were Rb positive, 17.1% were bcl-2 positive and 0% were Ki-67 positive.


These data show that p53, cyclin D1, Rb, bcl-2 and Ki-67 staining does not correlate with malignant behaviour but that overexpression of p21 (P=0.02) and reduced staining of EC (P=0.005) do correlate with malignant behaviour. These two parameters may therefore be useful as prognostic indicators for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumours.

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