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beta-Catenin Expression and Its Association With Prognostic Factors in Adenocarcinoma Developed in Barrett Esophagus

Maria-Chiara Osterheld MD, Yan-Song Bian MD, Fred T. Bosman MD, PhD, Jean Benhattar PhD, Charlotte Fontolliet MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/1DB6-GFVH-RA6W-Q07Y 451-456 First published online: 1 March 2002


The majority of the adenocarcinomas arising in Barrett esophagus manifest clinically at an advanced stage and have a poor prognosis. As a result of this poor prognosis, much attention has been directed toward the exploration of markers for neoplastic progression in Barrett esophagus. The objective of the present study was to determine the expression of beta-catenin by immunohistochemical analysis in 70 adenocarcinomas developed in Barrett esophagus and to examine its relationship to various prognostic factors currently in use. Abnormal beta-catenin expression, consisting of the loss of membranous staining and the appearance of the nuclear staining, was found in 43 cases (61%). Of patients with the 43 tumors showing abnormal beta-catenin expression, 25 (58%) survived more than 1 year. In contrast, only 7 (26%) of 27 patients with tumors showing normal beta-catenin expression survived longer than 1 year. Most of the superficial (Tis-T1) tumors (83% [10/12]) exhibited abnormal beta-catenin expression compared with only 53% (31/58) in the T2-T3 group. These results suggest a possible correlation among beta-catenin expression, tumor stage, and length of survival as prognostic factors in patients with adenocarcinoma in Barrett esophagus.

Key Words:
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Barrett esophagus
  • beta-Catenin
  • Prognostic factors