Background: Although widely fragmented BMs have been associated with adverse outcome in several cancer types, comparatively little is known with respect to its effect on the prognosis of pancreatic cancer. The aim of the current study was therefore to determine the prognostic value of tumour basement membrane (BM) continuity in two anatomically closely related, however, prognostically different tumours, pancreatic head-and periampullary cancer. Methods: Tumour BM continuity was determined by immunohistochemical staining of its two major components, laminin and collagen type IV. Associations were made with recurrence free survival (RFS), cancer-specific survival (CSS), overall survival (OS) and conventional prognostic factors. Results: Fifty-nine and 61% of pancreatic head and periampullary tumours, respectively, showed limited BM laminin expression. Whereas 43% and 41% of pancreatic head and periampullary cancers, respectively, showed limited BM collagen type IV expression. Limited BM laminin was associated with poor outcome following curative resection of pancreatic head cancer (P=0.034, 0.013 and 0.017 for RFS, CSS and OS, respectively). Two and a half times as many patients with 25% BM laminin were recurrence free and alive 5 years following resection compared with those with limited BM laminin. Although staining patterns of both BM components were weakly correlated with each other, BM collagen type IV expression was not significantly associated with outcome in either tumour type.Conclusion: Discontinuous BMs, determined by laminin expression, are associated with poor outcome following curative resection of pancreatic head cancer.

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Keywords basement membrane, collagen type IV, laminin, pancreatic head cancer, periampullary cancer, prognosis
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Journal British Journal of Cancer
van der Zee, J, van Eijck, C.H.J, Hop, W.C.J, Biermann, K, Dicheva, B.M, Seynhaeve, A.L.B, … ten Hagen, T.L.M. (2012). Tumour basement membrane laminin expression predicts outcome following curative resection of pancreatic head cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 107(7), 1153–1158. doi:10.1038/bjc.2012.373