1. Department of Surgery 1, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan
2. Department of Breast Surgery, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, China
Receptor for hyaluronic acid (HA)-mediated motility (RHAMM) is a nonintegral cell surface receptor involved in the aggressive phenotype in a wide spectrum of human malignancies, but the significance of RHAMM in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the expression of RHAMM and its clinical relevance in PDAC. RHAMM mRNA expression was examined in 8 PDAC cell lines and in primary pancreatic cancer and adjacent non-tumor tissues from 14 patients using real-time RT-PCR. Western blotting was carried out to analyze the expression of RHAMM protein in PDAC cell lines. We also investigated the expression patterns of RHAMM protein in tissue samples from 70 PDAC patients using immunohistochemistry. The RHAMM mRNA expression was increased in some PDAC cell lines as compared to a non-tumorous pancreatic epithelial cell line HPDE. The RHAMM mRNA expression was significantly higher in PDAC tissues as compared to corresponding non-tumorous pancreatic tissues (P < 0.0001). The RHAMM protein expression was higher in the vast majority of PDAC cell lines relative to the expression in HPDE. The immunohistochemical analysis revealed strong expression of RHAMM in 52 (74%) PDAC tissues. Strong expression of RHAMM was significantly associated with a shorter survival time (P = 0.038). In multivariate analysis, tumor stage (P = 0.039), residual tumor (P = 0.015), and strong RHAMM expression (P = 0.034) were independent factors predicting poor survival. Strong expression of RHAMM may predict poor survival in PDAC patients and may provide prognostic and, possibly, therapeutic value.
Keywords: Receptor for hyaluronic acid-mediated motility, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, prognostic factor, poor survival