Clusterin is known to be expressed in many human neoplasms, and is believed to participate in the regeneration, migration, and anti-apoptosis of tumor cells. However, few reports have addressed the relationship between the manifestation of clusterin and clinicopathologic parameters in pancreas cancer patients. In the present study, the authors investigated the expression of clusterin and its clinical significance in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Immunohistochemical staining was performed for clusterin in tumor tissues obtained from patients who received pancreatic resection with radical intent, and the associations of clusterin expression with various clinicopathologic parameters were analyzed in addition to the relation between its expression and survival.
Immunoreactivity for clusterin was observed in 17 of the 52 (33%) pancreatic adenocarcinomas examined. In addition, clusterin positivity was found to be associated with preoperative serum carcinoembryonic antigen level, perineural invasion, and, most strongly, lymph node metastasis. The survival analysis identified tumor differentiation and lymph node metastasis as the only significant prognostic factors.
Although not an independent prognostic factor, clusterin immunoreactivity can be used in conjunction with lymph node metastasis to predict survival in cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.