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AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between EpCAM expression in colon cancer tissue and the clinico-pathological characteristics of the patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is a prospective, longitudinal, observational study on 80 patients undergoing for colon cancer between January – December 2017. EpCAM expression at tumoral level was analyzed in relation with clinical and pathological variables of the patients using anti-EpCAM specific antibody.
RESULTS: EpCAM expression was predominant in tumoral tissue compared to normal colonic mucosa and most of the cases (58.7%) showed increased EpCAM expression. Although increased EpCAM expression was observed in advanced stages and in patients with advanced locoregional disease, there was no statistically significant correlation with the clinical and pathological characteristics of the patients.
DISCUSSION: The majority of the analyzed samples showed increased EpCAM expression in tumoral tissue suggesting its involvement in the carcinogenesis process. Numerous studies have identified EpCAM overexpression in colon cancer as a negative prognostic factor, being associated with advanced stage of the disease and a poor prognosis of the patient but results are inconsistent. Nevertheless, assessing a possible correlation between EpCAM expression at tumoral level and clinico- pathological characteristics is dependent on the type of antibody used to identify the molecule of interest.
CONCLUSIONS: EpCAM detection in colon cancer using anti-human CD326/EpCAM clone VU-1D9 does not allow the correlation between its expression and the clinico-pathological characteristics of the patients and it should only be used for EpCAM identification in colon cancer tissues.