Immunohistochemically detectable dickkopf-3 expression in tumor vessels predicts survival in gastric cancer

Gilbert Mühlmann, Gerold Untergasser, Matthias Zitt, Marion Zitt, Hans Maier, Gregor Mikuz, Irmgard E. Kronberger, Michael C. Haffner, Eberhard Gunsilius, Dietmar Öfner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Dickkopf-3 (Dkk-3) may act as a tumor suppressor as it is downregulated in various types of cancer. Moreover, a putative role in tumor neovascularization is discussed. Here, we investigated the expression of Dkk-3 protein in gastric cancer and its potential value as a prognostic marker. Dkk-3 expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 136 tumor samples and was correlated with microvessel density (MVD), tumor stage, and grading as well as the clinical outcome of the patients. Dkk-3 expression was detected in endothelial cells of the tumor vessels in 129/136 (94.9%) and in tumor cells in 85/ 136 (62.5%) samples. MVD was high and low in 57 (42.9%) and 76 (57.1%) specimens respectively. In tumorcells, overexpression of Dkk-3 was found in 41 (30.1%) of all cases and wascorrelated significantly to pT-stage (p< 0.05) and UICC stage (p<0.05). Survival analysis regarding Dkk-3 expression in tumor endothelial cells showed that Dkk-3 is an independent predictor of disease-free survival (p<0.05). Dkk-3 expression in tumor vessels ofpatients with gastric cancer identifies a population of patients with relatively favorable prognosis

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-646
Number of pages12
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Dickkopf-3
  • Gastric cancer
  • Neoangiogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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