Expression of E-cadherin in lung carcinoma, other than those with small cells (NSCLC)

Vol. 58 No. 4, 2017


Mirela Loredana Grigoras, Teodora Smaranda Arghirescu, Roxana Folescu, Ioana Cristina Talpos, Ciprian Mihai Gindac, Carmen Lacramioara Zamfir, Marioara Cornianu, Mirella Dorina Anghel, Codrina Mihaela Levai

It was suggested that the decrease and/or loss of E-cadherin expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is responsible for the development of the malignant phenotype. Moreover, clinical studies showed that the reduced expression of E-cadherin is associated with tumoral differentiation, with the presence of lymph node metastasis and with unfavorable diagnosis of patients with NSCLC. In order to evaluate if E-cadherin expression is involved in the NSCLC pathogenesis and significantly associated with clinicopathological parameters, we investigated the immunohistochemical (IHC) expression of E-cadherin in 47 lung carcinomas with tumoral resection pieces in the control peritumoral lung tissue, looking for possible correlations between the expression of this molecule and the clinicomorphological features and the evolutive prognosis of the patients. E-cadherin expression was preserved in 10 (21.28%) of the 47 NSCLCs immunostained with anti-E-cadherin antibody and reduced/absent in 37 of the 47 (78.72%) NSCLCs studied. E-cadherin plays a major role in the intercellular adhesion. The reduced expression of E-cadherin indicates an unfavorable prognosis and can be a useful prognosis factor in NSCLC - for patients with reduced expression of the E-cadherin/alpha-catenin complex, needing chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Corresponding author: Teodora Smaranda Arghirescu, Associate Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:; Roxana Folescu, Senior Lecturer, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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