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Oncol Rep. 2009 Nov;22(5):1109-17.

Expression and prognostic value of L1-CAM in breast cancer.

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Department of Gynecology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, D-20246 Hamburg, Germany.


The L1 adhesion molecule (L1-CAM) is associated with impaired prognosis in many carcinomas. However, limited information about its expression in breast cancer tissue is available. Therefore, we carried out an analysis on L1 expression in primary breast cancers using a combination of Western blot, DNA-microarray analysis and immunohistochemistry. We observed L1 protein and mRNA overexpression in 14-15% of the carcinomas and this was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining. High L1 expression was associated with nodal involvement, high grading, human epidermal growth receptor 2 (Her-2), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and a negative estrogen receptor (ER) status, but not with neuroendocrine markers. Moreover, patients with tumors showing high L1-CAM expression had a shorter disease-free and overall survival. Given the emerging functional role of L1 in promoting tumor cell migration, invasion, tumor growth and metastasis, our results suggest that L1 may have this function in breast cancer as well.

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