Background: Dystroglycan (DG) is a recently focused adhesion molecule with possible roles in cancer development and progression. We investigated correlations between α-DG expression and prognosis in gastric carcinoma with liver metastasis. Methods: For 40 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma and liver-only metastasis, α-DG expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded surgical specimens of resected stomach tumor, resected liver metastasis, and their normal counterpart tissues. Correlations between α-DG expression and prognosis were retrospectively analyzed. Results: α-DG expression was higher in primary gastric cancer (P = 0.006) and lower in liver metastasis (P = 0.002) than in each normal counterpart. In primary stomach cancer, patients who had lower α-DG expression in tumors than in normal counterparts showed poor overall survival (OS) (P = 0.028). In contrast, in the liver, patients who had higher α-DG expression in tumors than in normal counterparts showed poor OS (P = 0.022). Also, higher α-DG expression in liver metastasis than in stomach tumors led to poor recurrence-free survival (P = 0.023) and OS (P = 0.056). Conclusions: This approach may be used to further understanding of the pathogenesis of liver metastasis from gastric cancer. Further studies are warranted to reveal the mechanisms of α-DG dysregulation in liver metastasis.
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