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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Podocalyxin-like protein expression in primary colorectal cancer and synchronous lymph node metastases

Anna H Larsson12*, Björn Nodin1, Ingvar Syk3, Ingrid Palmquist3, Mathias Uhlén45, Jakob Eberhard12 and Karin Jirström1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Pathology, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden

2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Oncology, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, 221 85 Lund, Sweden

3 Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Surgery, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, 205 02 Malmö, Sweden

4 Science for Life Laboratory, AlbaNova University Center, Royal Institute of Technology, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

5 School of Biotechnology, AlbaNova University Center, Royal Institute of Technology, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

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Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 8:109  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-8-109

Published: 2 July 2013

Abstract

Aims

Previous studies have shown that membranous expression of podocalyxin-like protein (PODXL) is associated with poor prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, we compared PODXL expression in primary CRC and synchronous lymph node metastases. We further analyzed whether its expression changed in rectal tumours after neoadjuvant radiation therapy.

Methods and results

The studied cohort consists of 73 consecutive patients from the South-Swedish Colorectal Cancer Biobank. Immunohistochemical PODXL expression was examined on full-face sections from all primary tumours and all 140 available lymph node metastases from 31 cases. Membranous PODXL expression was denoted in 18/73 (24,7%) primary tumours, with a high concordance between primary and metastatic lesions. While all negative primary tumours had negative metastases, some PODXL positive primaries had a varying proportion of positive and negative metastatic lymph nodes. PODXL expression was also found to be mainly unaltered in pre- and post-irradiation surgically resected tumour specimens in rectal cancer patients (n=16).

Conclusions

The findings in this study suggest that analysis of PODXL expression in the primary tumour is sufficient for its use as a prognostic and treatment predictive biomarker in CRC, also in patients with metastatic disease.

Virtual slides

The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/9014177329634352 webcite