Expression of CD34 in Gastric Cancer and its Correlation with Histology, Stage, Proliferation Activity, p53 Expression and Apoptotic Index


1Department of Oncological Surgery, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
2Department of Soft Tissue/Bone Tumors, M. Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center-Institute, Warsaw, Poland
3Department of Tumor Pathology, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland


The formation of new blood vessels is essential for tumor growth and progression. Until today there are only few studies of the immunohistochemical assessment of angiogenesis in gastric cancer by the evaluation of the expression of CD34 antigen. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between microvessel density (MVD) expressed as the mean count of CD34 immunostained vessels and clinicopathologic features of gastric tumors (the histological type according to the Lauren classification, tumor grade – G; presence of lymph node metastases – N; depth of tumor invasion; stage of disease (UICC-AJCC 1988–1992), p53 expression, tumor cell proliferative activity described as the Ki67 labelling index and apoptotic index of tumor cells – TUNEL method). We assessed formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples obtained during potentially radical gastrectomy from 58 patients with primary gastric adenocarcinoma. The representative tissue blocks from each tumor were used for the immunohistochemical assay and examined by two pathologists independently. MVD was counted in five tumor areas of the most intensive neovascularization (x 200 field by light microscopy) and the mean counts were recorded. The mean MVD (CD34 expression value±SD) in this study was 43,15±19,8 per x 200 field. The study demonstrated the statistically significant correlation between MVD and two main histological parameters: tumor grading (p < 0.001) and tumor histological type according to Lauren’s classification (p<0.05). In well – and moderately – differentiated tumors (G1/2) MVD was significantly lower in comparison to the group of poorly differentiated cancer – G3 (mean value: 31,62 vs. 49,89). MVD was higher in diffuse type of gastric cancer comparing to intestinal type (50.05±19,03 vs. 39.17±20,09). However, the authors failed to find a significant correlation between MVD and other investigated histopathological features in malignant gastric tumors. The close relationship between CD34 immunostaining, gastric cancer tumor vascularity and main histological parameters was shown in this study. It can be stated that analysis of expression of angiogenesis in gastric cancer may be helpful for better estimation of hematogenous recurrence and the selection of the group of patients for adjuvant antiangiogenic treatment. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 7, Nr 2, 129-134, 2001

Key words: CD 34 immunostaining; gastric cancer

Received: Oct 26, 2000; accepted: May 15, 2001
Correspondence: Piotr RUTKOWSKI, , ,

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