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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Overexpression of L1-cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) has been observed for various carcinomas and correlates with poor prognosis and late-stage disease. In vitro, L1CAM enhances proliferation, cell migration, adhesion and chemoresistance. We tested L1CAM and interleukin-1 beta expression in tumor samples and ascitic fluid from ovarian carcinoma patients to examine its role as a prognostic marker. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We investigated tumor samples and ascitic fluid from 232 serous ovarian carcinoma patients for L1CAM by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. L1CAM expression was correlated with pathoclinical parameters and patients' outcome. IL-1? levels were measured in tumor cell lysates. Ovarian cancer cell lines were analyzed for the contribution of L1CAM to IL-1beta production and nuclear factor 'kappa-light-chain-enhancer' of activated B-cells (NF-kappaB) activation. RESULTS: We observed that L1CAM-expressing tumors show a highly invasive phenotype associated with restricted tumor resectability at primary debulking surgery and increased lymphogenic spread. Soluble L1CAM proved to be a marker for poor progression-free survival and chemoresistance. In ovarian carcinoma cell lines, the specific knock-down of L1CAM reduces IL-1beta expression and NF-kappaB activity. CONCLUSIONS: L1CAM expression contributes to the invasive and metastatic phenotype of serous ovarian carcinoma. L1CAM expression and shedding in the tumor microenvironment could contribute to enhanced invasion and tumor progression through increased IL-1beta production and NF-kappaB activation.
Annals of Oncology 01/2012; · 7.38 Impact Factor