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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2013 Feb;139(2):297-306. doi: 10.1007/s00432-012-1326-8. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

L-Dopa decarboxylase (DDC) constitutes an emerging biomarker in predicting patients' survival with stomach adenocarcinomas.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, 15701 Athens, Greece.



Stomach adenocarcinoma represents a major health problem and is regarded as the second commonest cause of cancer-associated mortality, universally, since it is still difficult to be perceived at a curable stage. Several lines of evidence have pointed out that the expression of L-Dopa decarboxylase (DDC) gene and/or protein becomes distinctively modulated in several human neuroendocrine neoplasms as well as adenocarcinomas.


In order to elucidate the clinical role of DDC on primary gastric adenocarcinomas, we determined qualitatively and quantitatively the mRNA levels of the gene with regular PCR and real-time PCR by using the comparative threshold cycle method, correspondingly, and detected the expression of DDC protein by immunoblotting in cancerous and normal stomach tissue specimens.


A statistically significant association was disclosed between DDC expression and gastric intestinal histotype as well as tumor localization at the distal third part of the stomach (p = 0.025 and p = 0.029, respectively). Univariate and multivariate analyses highlighted the powerful prognostic importance of DDC in relation to disease-free survival and overall survival of gastric cancer patients. According to Kaplan-Meier curves, the relative risk of relapse was found to be decreased in DDC-positive (p = 0.031) patients who, also, exhibited higher overall survival rates (p = 0.016) than those with DDC-negative tumors.


This work is the first to shed light on the potential clinical usefulness of DDC, as an efficient tumor biomarker in gastric cancer. The provided evidence underlines the propitious predictive value of DDC expression in the survival of stomach adenocarcinoma patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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