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Cytoplasmic Beta-Catenin Accumulation as a Predictor of Hematogenous Metastasis in Human Colorectal Cancer

Maruyama K.a,b · Ochiai A.a · Akimoto S.a · Nakamura S.b · Baba S.b · Moriya Y.c · Hirohashi S.a
aPathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, bSecond Department of Surgery, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, cSurgery Division, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan Oncology 2000;59:302–309 (DOI:10.1159/000012187)


The membranous, cytoplasmic and nuclear levels of beta-catenin were evaluated immunohistochemically in archival tissue specimens from 96 Japanese patients with primary colorectal carcinoma who had undergone surgery. The relationships between beta-catenin and clinicopathological variables were analyzed statistically. Reduced beta-catenin immunoreactivity in the cell membranes of cancer cells was found in 70% of the tumors, and cytoplasmic and nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin were found in 68 and 66% of tumors, respectively. Significant correlations between cytoplasmic beta-catenin accumulation and the depth of invasion, venous invasion and focal dedifferentiation were observed. Cytoplasmic beta-catenin accumulation was also found to be a useful predictor of hematogenous metastasis (hazard ratio = 8.94, p = 0.054), though neither a reduced cell membrane level nor nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin correlated with metastasis.

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