Controversy exists regarding the clinical significance of S100A2 in the progression of tumours. In pancreatic cancer, little is known about the role of S100A2. The aim of this study was to clarify the clinical significance of S100A2 expression in pancreatic carcinogenesis. We microdissected invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) cells from 22 lesions, pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) cells from five lesions, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) cells from 38 lesions, pancreatitis-affected epithelial (PAE) cells from 16 lesions, and normal ductal cells from 18 normal pancreatic tissues. S100A2 expression in 14 pancreatic cancer cell lines, microdissected cells and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples was examined by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Microdissection analyses revealed that IDC cells expressed higher levels of S100A2 than did IPMN, PAE or normal cells (all comparisons, p < 0.007). Cell lines from metastatic sites expressed higher levels of S100A2 than those from primary sites. PanIN cells expressed higher levels of S100A2 than normal cells (p = 0.018). IDC cells associated with poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma expressed higher levels of S100A2 than did IDC cells without poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (p = 0.006). Analyses of FFPE samples revealed that levels of S100A2 were higher in samples from patients who survived <1000 days after surgery than in those from patients who survived >1000 days (p = 0.043). Immunohistochemical analysis was consistent with qRT-PCR. S100A2 may be a marker of tumour progression or prognosis in pancreatic carcinogenesis and pancreatic cancer.
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