Expression of nm23-H1 predicts lymph node involvement in colorectal carcinoma

Andrea Tannapfel, Ferdinand Köckerling, Alexander Katalinic, Christian Wittekind*

*Corresponding author for this work
41 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Reduced expression of the metastasis suppressor gene nm23-H1 has previously been correlated with high tumor metastatic potential and fatal clinical outcome in some tumors (e.g., breast). For colorectal carcinomas, the findings are equivocal. METHODS: We have used a monoclonal antibody against nm23-H1 to investigate the expression in colorectal carcinomas at the time of primary curative surgery (RO resection) to assess if there was any relation between nm23-H1 expression and stage or histologic grade at the time of primary tumor removal. RESULTS: Of 100 colorectal carcinomas studied (Stages I, II, and III according UICC, all resected curatively), nm23-H1 immunoreactivity was weak in 41 (41 percent), moderate in 24 (24 percent), and strong in 35 (35 percent) cases. The grade of positivity against nm23-H1 was significantly lower in advanced stages of the disease (Stages II or III) (P <0.001, chi-squared=52.8). In tumors with low or weak immunoreactivity against nm23-H1, frequency of lymph node metastases was significantly higher compared with those with moderate or strong staining (P <0.001; chi-squared=50.58). Therefore, with a sensitivity of 93 percent and a specificity of 58 percent, low nm23-H1 immunoreactivity of the primary tumor, assessed at the time of surgery, is an indicator of the presence of lymph node metastases. CONCLUSIONS: Immunohisto-chemical evaluation of nm23-H1 in the primary tumor or in a biopsy is a useful predictor of stage of disease and presence of lymph node metastases in colorectal carcinomas and may have clinical significance, e.g., in predicting optimal therapeutic regimes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiseases of the Colon & Rectum
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)651-654
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.1995


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