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High expression of DEK predicts poor prognosis of gastric adenocarcinoma

Junjie Piao12, Yongjun Shang3, Shuangping Liu12, Yingshi Piao2, Xuelian Cui1, Yuzi Li4* and Zhenhua Lin12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Yanbian University Medical College, No. 977, Gongyuan-Rd, Yanji 133002, China

2 Cancer Research Center, Yanbian University, Yanji 133002, China

3 Department of Orthopedics, Affiliated Hospital of Chifeng University, Chifeng 024000, China

4 Department of Internal Medicine, Yanbian University Hospital, No. 1327, Juzi-St, Yanji 133000, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2014, 9:67  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-9-67

Published: 20 March 2014



DEK, as an oncoprotein, plays an important role in cancer development and progression. This study aimed to investigate the clinicopathological significance of DEK overexpression in patients with gastric cancer.

Materials and methods

The expression of DEK protein was evaluated by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of 172 gastric cancer samples with complete clinicopathological features, and the correlation between DEK expression and clinicopathological features was examined. Survival rates were also calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method in gastric cancer patients with complete survival data.


DEK protein showed a strictly nuclear staining pattern in gastric cancers with IHC and immunofluorescence. The strongly positive rate of DEK protein was 60.5% (104/172) in gastric cancers, which was significantly higher than that in either gastric dysplasia (19.4%, 7/36) or adjacent normal mucosa (0%, 0/27). DEK expression in gastric cancer correlated to tumor size, differentiation, clinical stage, disease-free survival, and overall survival rates. Further analysis showed that patients with early-stage gastric cancer and high DEK expression had shorter disease-free survival and overall survival duration than those with low DEK expression.


High level of DEK protein expression predicts the poor prognosis of patients with gastric cancer. DEK expression might be potentially used as an independent effective biomarker for prognostic evaluation of gastric cancers.

Virtual slides

The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: webcite

Gastric adenocarcinoma; DEK; Immunohistochemistry; Survival analysis