Open Access Research article

Heat Shock Protein-27, -60 and -90 expression in gastric cancer: association with clinicopathological variables and patient survival

Constantinos Giaginis12, Stella S Daskalopoulou12, Stephanie Vgenopoulou1, Ioannis Sfiniadakis3, Gregorios Kouraklis2 and Stamatios E Theocharis1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

2 2ndDepartment of Propedeutic Surgery, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

3 Department of Pathology, Naval Hospital, Athens, Greece

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BMC Gastroenterology 2009, 9:14  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-9-14

Published: 9 February 2009



Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are ubiquitous, highly conserved proteins across all the species and play essential roles in maintaining protein stability within the cells under normal conditions, while preventing stress-induced cellular damage. HSPs were also overexpressed in various types of cancer, being associated with tumor cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical significance of HSP -27, -60, and -90 expression in gastric carcinoma.


HSP -27, -60, and -90 proteins expression was assessed immunohistochemically in tumoral samples of 66 gastric adenocarcinoma patients and was statistically analyzed in relation to various clinicopathological characteristics, tumor proliferative capacity and patients' survival.


HSP-27, -60, -90 proteins were abundantly expressed in gastric adenocarcinoma cases examined. HSP-27 expression was significantly associated with tumor size (pT, P = 0.026), the presence of organ metastases (pM, P = 0.046) and pStage (P = 0.041), while HSP-27 staining intensity with nodal status (pN, P = 0.042). HSP-60 expression was significantly associated with patients' sex (P = 0.011), while HSP-60 staining intensity with patients' age (P = 0.027) and tumor histopathological grade (P = 0.031). HSP-90 expression was not associated with any of the clinicopathological parameters examined; however, HSP-90 staining intensity was significantly associated with tumor size (pT, P = 0.020). High HSP-90 expression was significantly associated with longer overall survival times in univariate analysis (log-rank test, P = 0.033), being also identified as an independent prognostic factor in multivariate analysis (P = 0.026).


HSP-27, -60, and -90 were associated with certain clinicopathological parameters which are crucial for the management of gastric adenocarcinoma patient. HSP-90 expression may also be an independent prognostic indicator in gastric adenocarcinoma patients.