Background: CD44 is an essential surface glycoprotein component of the hyaluronan receptor and is associated with adhesion and metastasis in many solid tumors. There are several isoforms of CD44, including CD44 standard (CD44s) and 10 CD44 variants (CD44v1 to CD44v10). We evaluated the clinical significance of CD44s and CD44v6 in biliary tract cancers. Methods: Patients who had been diagnosed with primary biliary tract cancers were enrolled onto the study, and tissue specimens were obtained during surgery. Paraffin-embedded tissue sections were evaluated for the presence of CD44s and CD44v6 by immunohistochemical staining. We decided CD44s and CD44v6 expression as overexpression, which shows an intensity grade of >10%. Clinical data of all patients were reviewed. Results: Ninety-five patients (35 men and 60 women; median age, 64 years; range, 37-86 years) were evaluated. The incidence of overexpression (>10%) of CD44s was 49%, and that of CD44v6 was 17%. The median postoperative follow-up duration was 34.3 months, and the median overall survival was 12.2 months. The Cox proportional hazard ratio (HR) test identified CD44s overexpression (0% to 10% vs. 10% to 100%; HR, .420; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], .211-.837; P = .014) and cancer stage as prognostic factors. However, the expression of CD44v6 (0% to 10% vs. 10% to 100%; HR, 1.462; 95% CI, .630-3.393; P = .377) had no prognostic significance for survival. Conclusions: CD44s overexpression is useful as a marker of a poor prognosis for biliary tract cancer. Aggressive postoperative therapy should be considered for such patients.
- Biliary tract cancer