• CD44s;
  • colorectal carcinoma;
  • immunohistochemistry

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the expression of standard CD44 (CD44s) in colorectal cancer (CRC), its relationship with clinicopathological characteristics, and its potential prognostic significance. CD44s levels were measured on immunohistochemistry in tumors and surrounding normal mucosa from 74 patients with primary colorectal carcinomas. The patients were followed for a median period of 37 months. Expression of CD44s in primary tumor and surrounding normal mucosa tissues was demonstrated in 100% (74/74) and 37.9% (28/74), respectively. The expression of CD44s in tumors was significantly associated with the depth of invasion (P = 0.034) and lymph node involvement (P = 0.031). A significant difference was observed between the overall survival and level of tumor CD44s expression, especially for stage IV carcinoma (P = 0.038). Multivariate analysis indicated that TNM stage (P = 0.020) and tumor CD44s expression (P = 0.008) were independent predictors of overall survival in adenocarcinomas. CD44s overexpression may be an independent unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival in advanced CRC, especially stage IV disease. Further investigation, however, is necessary to assess the biological roles of CD44 in CRC, and validate their possible value as novel therapeutic targets.