MUC4 is a novel prognostic factor of extrahepatic bile duct carcinoma.


Many of the patients with extrahepatic bile duct carcinoma (EHBDC) show a poor outcome. We have reported that MUC4 is a novel prognostic factor of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prognostic significance of MUC4 expression in EHBDC.

We examined the expression profile of MUC4 in EHBDC tissues from 70 patients using immunohistochemistry. MUC4 is a membrane mucin like MUC1. In addition, MUC4 is an intramembrane ligand for receptor tyrosine kinase ErbB2 and is related with regulation of p27. We compared the MUC4 expression with MUC1, ErbB2, or p27 expression in EHBDC.

MUC4 was expressed in 36 of the 70 patients with EHBDC. There was no significant correlation between the MUC4 expression and MUC1, ErbB2, or p27 expression. The survival of 19 patients with high MUC4 expression (>or=20% of carcinoma cells stained) was significantly worse than that of the 51 patients with low MUC4 expression (under 20% of carcinoma cells stained; P = 0.0072). The univariate analysis showed that high MUC4 expression (P = 0.0072), high MUC1 expression (P = 0.0092), histologic grading (P = 0.0029), surgical margin involvement (P = 0.0137), and nodal metastasis (P = 0.0036) were statistically significant risk factors. The backward stepwise multivariate analysis showed that high MUC4 expression (P = 0.0195) and surgical margin involvement (P = 0.0358) were statistically significant independent risk factors.

MUC4 expression in EHBDC is a new independent factor for poor prognosis and predicts the outcome of patients with EHBDC.

  • Batra SK
  • Goto M
  • Higashi M
  • Imai K
  • Shibahara H
  • Tamada S
  • Yonezawa S
PubMed ID
Appears In
Clin Cancer Res, 2006, 12 (14 Pt 1)