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Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM)/CD166 in pancreatic cancer, a pivotal link to clinical outcome and vascular embolism

Yang, Yiming, Sanders, Andrew J., Ruge, Fiona, Dong, Xuefei, Cui, Yuxin, Dou, Q. Ping, Jia, Shuqin, Hao, Chunyi, Ji, Jiafu and Jiang, Wen G. 2021. Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM)/CD166 in pancreatic cancer, a pivotal link to clinical outcome and vascular embolism. American Journal of Cancer Research 11 (12) , pp. 5917-5932.

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Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM, or CD166) is a cell adhesion molecule and one of potential tumour metastasis ‘soil’ receptors that via homotypic and heterotypic interactions, mediates cancer cell adhesion. The present study investigated clinical, pathological and prognostic values of ALCAM in patients with pancreatic cancer. Human pancreatic cancer (PANC-1 and Mia PaCa-2) and human vascular endothelial cell lines were used to construct cell models differentially expressing levels of ALCAM. Tumour-endothelial interaction and tumour migration were assessed by a DiI-based method and electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) assay. Pancreatic cancer tissues (n=223), collected immediately after surgery, were analysed for levels of the ALCAM transcripts, which were also analysed against clinical, pathological and clinical outcomes of the patients. ALCAM protein was assessed by immunohistochemistry on a tissue array. Our study demonstrate that pancreatic cancer tissues had significantly higher levels of ALCAM transcripts than normal tissues (P<0.00001). There were no significant differences with staging, differentiation and tumour locations. Tumours from patients who died of pancreatic cancer had significantly high levels of ALCAM compared with those who lived (P=0.018), and this finding was further supported by ROC analysis (P=0.016). Multivariant analysis showed that ALCAM is an independent prognosis factor for overall survival (HR=5.485), with both nodal status and TNM staging contributing to the model (HR=2.578 and 3.02, respectively). A surprising finding was the relationship between ALCAM expression and microvessel embolism of tumour cells (P=0.021, with vs without tumour embolism). Levels of ALCAM were found to be a determinant factor to adherence of the pancreatic cancer cells to vascular endothelial cells, as demonstrated by pancreatic cancer cell models genetically engineered to express differential levels of ALCAM. The tumour-endothelial interaction mediated by ALCAM was readily blocked by addition of soluble ALCAM. Our data supports the conclusion that ALCAM expression is aberrant in pancreatic cancer and its raised expression is an independent prognostic factor for the survival of the patients and the microvascular embolism by cancer cells. Our results suggest that ALCAM plays a key role in mediating tumour-endothelial cell interactions and enhancing tumour embolism in pancreatic cancer, and targeting ALCAM represents a potential therapeutic strategy for treating human pancreatic cancer.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: e-Century Publishing
ISSN: 2156-6976
Funders: Cardiff China Medical Scholarship and RealCan Scholarship.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: 22 November 2021
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 06:26

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