The Number of Ezrin-Expressing Lymphocytes Correlating with Tumor Cell Apoptosis and Prognosis of Human Gastric Carcinoma


Background: Ezrin is a linker protein between actin filaments and cell adhesion molecules, which plays an important role in cancer progression. There are only a few studies available that have investigated ezrin expression in different types of tumors. However, the prognostic importance of ezrin and its correlation with clinicopathological characteristics are yet to be delineated in gastric carcinoma. Methods: Specimens from 124 gastric carcinoma patients of T2 and T3 diseases treated in a defined period with curative operation were evaluated for ezrin, CD8 and cleaved caspase-3 expression by immunohistochemical methods. Results: Ezrin expression was detected in both cancer cells and interstitial cells (ISCs) infiltrated into the tumor. According to our criterion, 37 patients (29.8%) were positive for ezrin expression and 87 (70.2%) were negative. A significant correlation between ezrin expression and any of the clinicopathological characteristics could not be found. In Spearman-rank correlation test, a significant correlation was found between the number of ezrin-stained ISCs and apoptotic index (AI) of cancer cells. Also the AI of cancer cells was significantly higher in ezrin-positive group when compared with ezrin-negative group. Patients with ezrin-expressing tumors had a significantly better disease-free survival, and in multivariable analysis ezrin expression status remained significant as an independent prognostic factor. Conclusion: Taken together, our results suggest that ezrin expression may play a vital role in tumor apoptosis and that it can be a useful tool for therapeutic intervention.

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Matsubara, T. , Hirahara, N. , Hyakudomi, R. and Tajima, Y. (2014) The Number of Ezrin-Expressing Lymphocytes Correlating with Tumor Cell Apoptosis and Prognosis of Human Gastric Carcinoma. Open Journal of Gastroenterology, 4, 310-320. doi: 10.4236/ojgas.2014.49045.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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