Absence of polysialylated NCAM is an unfavorable prognostic phenotype for advanced stage neuroblastoma

Miikka Korja*, Anne Jokilammi, Toivo T. Salmi, Hannu Kalimo, Tarja Terttu Pelliniemi, Jorma Isola, Immo Rantala, Hannu Haapasalo, Jukka Finne

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: The expression of a neural crest stem cell marker, polysialic acid (polySia), and its main carrier, neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), have been detected in some malignant tumors with high metastatic activity and unfavorable prognosis, but the diagnostic and prognostic value of polySia-NCAM in neuroblastoma is unclear. Methods: A tumor tissue microarray (TMA) of 36 paraffin-embedded neuroblastoma samples was utilized to detect polySia-NCAM expression with a polySia-binding fluorescent fusion protein, and polySia-NCAM expression was compared with clinical stage, age, MYCN amplification status, histology (INPC), and proliferation index (PI). Results: PolySia-NCAM-positive neuroblastoma patients had more often metastases at diagnosis, and polySia-NCAM expression associated with advanced disease (P = 0.047). Most interestingly, absence of polySia-NCAM-expressing tumor cells in TMA samples, however, was a strong unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival in advanced disease (P = 0.0004), especially when MYCN was not amplified. PolySia-NCAM-expressing bone marrow metastases were easily detected in smears, aspirates and biopsies. Conclusion: PolySia-NCAM appears to be a new clinically significant molecular marker in neuroblastoma, hopefully with additional value in neuroblastoma risk stratification.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number57
    JournalBMC Cancer
    Volume9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2009

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    Korja, M., Jokilammi, A., Salmi, T. T., Kalimo, H., Pelliniemi, T. T., Isola, J., ... Finne, J. (2009). Absence of polysialylated NCAM is an unfavorable prognostic phenotype for advanced stage neuroblastoma. BMC Cancer, 9, [57]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-9-57