Journal of neuro-oncology

The overexpression of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) in glioma.

PMID 24906438


Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is overexpressed in various neoplasms as a tumor-associated antigen and absent in natural brain. However, little is known about EpCAM's expression in gliomas. To investigate the expression of EpCAM in gliomas and understand the correlation of EpCAM expression with malignancy, proliferation, angiogenesis, and prognosis, we studied the expression of EpCAM in 98 glioma samples by immunohistochemistry and by western blotting (N = 12). Correlative analysis of EpCAM overexpression with microvessel density (MVD), Ki-67 expression, age, and gender were made. Survival data was analyzed with Kaplan-Meier method and Cox Proportional Hazard Model. Immunohistochemistry results showed EpCAM was widely expressed in glioma (90.8 %). The overexpression rate of WHO grade IV gliomas was significantly higher EpCAM overexpression correlated significantly with Ki-67 expression and MVD. Western blot analysis also revealed a stepwise increase in EpCAM expression from WHO II to IV glioma. The overall survival of WHO III and IV glioma patients with EpCAM overexpression was obviously lower than that without EpCAM overexpression. EpCAM overexpression was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival in glioma patients. This study firstly shows that EpCAM overexpression correlates significantly with malignancy (WHO grades), proliferation (Ki67), angiogenesis (MVD), and prognosis in gliomas. EpCAM may participate in tumorgenesis of gliomas.