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Cancer. 2002 Dec 15;95(12):2473-8.

Decreased expression of DFF45/ICAD is correlated with a poor prognosis in patients with esophageal carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery II, Nagoya City University Medical School, Mizuho-ku, Japan.



DNA fragmentation factor 45 (DFF45)/inhibotor of caspase activated DNAse (ICAD) forms a complex with DFF40/CAD and inhibits its DNA cleaving function during apoptosis. DFF45 also functions as a chaperone for native DFF40 and is necessary for its function. It has been indicated that defects in the apoptotic pathway may exist in neoplastic cells.


The authors investigated mRNA expression of DFF45 in a series of 46 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) specimens using polymerase chain reaction amplification. The results were correlated with the patients' clinicopathologic characteristics.


DFF45 mRNA expression was significantly lower in tumors with higher pathologic stage, higher tumor status (T status), lymph node metastasis, or more extensive lymphatic invasion. Patients who had low DFF45 mRNA expression (indicated by the ratio of DFF45 mRNA expression in tumor to DFF45 mRNA expression in normal esophageal mucosa [tumor:normal] < 1) had a significantly shorter survival after undergoing surgery compared with patients who had high DFF45 mRNA expression (tumor:normal > 1, P = 0.0006; log-rank test, P = 0.0003; median follow-up, 14.6 months).


Patients with ESCC with decreased DFF45 mRNA expression levels had a poor prognosis compared with patients who had high DFF45 mRNA expression levels.

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