Expression of E-cadherin in primary and metastatic prostate cancer

Liang Cheng, Moolky Nagabhushan, Theresa P. Pretlow, Saeid B. Amini, Thomas G. Pretlow

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148 Scopus citations


Immunohistochemical studies have suggested that E-cadherin may be a useful prognostic marker in prostate cancer. Previous studies have depended on cryostat sections of tissues selected grossly. Many prostate cancers, even when extensive, are not visible grossly; many others cannot be demarcated sharply grossly. The wide applicability of prognostic markers after total prostatectomy will depend upon methods that can be applied to tissue selected based upon the histopathological examination of the entire prostate. Our purpose was to investigate the possibility that E-cadherin could be demonstrated in paraffin-embedded whole prostates and metastatic prostate cancer. Microwaving in citrate buffer was the best of five methods tested for the demonstration of E-cadherin in paraffin-embedded prostate and was used to investigate 53 primary prostate cancers from 44 patients and lymph node metastases from 14 patients. Metastases of prostate cancer to lymph nodes expressed less (P = 0.008) E-cadherin than primary prostate cancers. The expression of E-cadherin correlated with the histopathological differentiation (Gleason grade) of primary prostate cancers (P = 0.03, P(trend) = 0.003). The use of monoclonal anti-human E-cadherin (HECD-1) with microwaving in citrate buffer followed by immunoperoxidase staining with heavy metal enhancement for the demonstration of E-cadherin in paraffin- embedded tissue will, for the first time, allow the use of archival tissue for prognostic studies of E-cadherin in prostate cancer and other tissue. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that aggressive prostate cancers exhibit decreased expression of E-cadherin and demonstrate the feasibility of long-term prognostic studies of this molecule in the usually multiple prostate cancers found in whole, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded resected prostates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1380
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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    Cheng, L., Nagabhushan, M., Pretlow, T. P., Amini, S. B., & Pretlow, T. G. (1996). Expression of E-cadherin in primary and metastatic prostate cancer. American Journal of Pathology, 148(5), 1375-1380.