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Br J Cancer. 1998 Apr;77(7):1137-9.

The prognostic value of CD44 isoform expression in endometrial cancer.

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Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics, University of Vienna Medical School, Austria.


Isoforms of the transmembrane glycoprotein CD44 have been implicated in tumour cell adhesion, tumour differentiation and metastatic spread in various human malignancies. We investigated the expression of CD44 isoforms containing variant exons v3, v5, v6 and v7-8 in 156 human endometrium cancer specimens by means of immunohistochemistry. CD44 isoforms CD44v3, CD44v5, CD44v6 and CD44v7-8 were detected in 26% (41 out of 156), 31% (48 out of 156), 22% (35 out of 156) and 15% (23 out of 156) of the tumour samples respectively. The expression of CD44 isoforms CD44v3, CD44v5 and CD44v7-8 showed no prognostic impact. In the univariate analysis, the expression of CD44v6 showed an association with shortened overall survival (log-rank test, P = 0.06). Multivariate analysis correcting for the confounding variable histological grading revealed CD44v6 not to be a prognostic factor in endometrial cancer (log-rank test, P = 0.06). Comparing the expression of CD44 isoforms CD44v3, CD44v5, CD44v6 and CD44v7-8 in 45 specimens of normal endometrial tissue, we found an up-regulation of all investigated CD44 isoforms in the secretory phase compared with the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle. Our data indicate that the expression of CD44 isoforms, while obviously playing a role in the functional changes of normal endometrium, is not an adverse predictive factor in endometrial cancer.

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