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World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Jun 21;13(23):3189-98.

Phenotypic classification of gastric signet ring cell carcinoma and its relationship with clinicopathologic parameters and prognosis.

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Department of Pathology, Peking University School of Oncology and Beijing Cancer Hospital, No.52. Fucheng Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100036, China.



To distinguish subtypes of gastric signet ring cell (SRC) carcinoma by investigating the expression of gastric and intestinal phenotypic markers, and to study the significance of phenotypic classification in predicting tumor progression and outcome.


Immunohistochemistry was performed in 66 cases of SRC carcinoma with MUC2, VILLIN, CDX2, Li-cadherin antibodies as intestinal phenotype markers and MUC5AC, HGM, MUC6 antibodies as gastric phenotype markers, and the relationship was analyzed between the phenotypic expression pattern and clinicopathologic parameters, as well as the 3-year survival rate.


Expression of intestinal phenotypic markers was positively associated with tumor size, wall invasion, vascular invasion, lymph node metastasis and tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage. Cases expressing one or more intestinal markers had a significant lower survival rate than cases expressing none of the intestinal markers.


The SRC carcinomas expressing intestinal phenotype markers exhibited a high proliferative potential, bad biological behaviors and poor prognosis. Examination of phenotype expression may be useful in distinguishing histological type and in predicting the prognosis of gastric SRC carcinoma.

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