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Open Access Research article

Impact of PINCH expression on survival in colorectal cancer patients

Jasmine Lööf1, Johan Rosell2, Charlotte Bratthäll2, Siv Doré3, Hans Starkhammar2, Hong Zhang1 and Xiao-Feng Sun4*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Tumour Biology, Systems Biology Research Centre, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden

2 Department of Oncology, Linköping University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden

3 Department of Pathology, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

4 Department of Oncology, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:103  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-103

Published: 22 March 2011



The adaptor protein PINCH is overexpressed in the stroma of several types of cancer, and is an independent prognostic marker in colorectal cancer. In this study we further investigate the relationship of PINCH and survival regarding the response to chemotherapy in colorectal cancer.


Paraffin-embedded tissue sections from 251 primary adenocarcinomas, 149 samples of adjacent normal mucosa, 57 samples of distant normal mucosa and 75 lymph node metastases were used for immunohistochemical staining. Stromal staining for PINCH increased from normal mucosa to primary tumour to metastasis. Strong staining in adjacent normal mucosa was related to worse survival independently of sex, age, tumour location, differentiation and stage (p = 0.044, HR, 1.60, 95% CI, 1.01-2.52). PINCH staining at the invasive margin tended to be related to survival (p = 0.051). In poorly differentiated tumours PINCH staining at the invasive margin was related to survival independently of sex, age and stage (p = 0.013, HR, 1.90, 95% CI, 1.14-3.16), while in better differentiated tumours it was not. In patients with weak staining, adjuvant chemotherapy was related to survival (p = 0.010, 0.013 and 0.013 in entire tumour area, invasive margin and inner tumour area, respectively), but not in patients with strong staining. However, in the multivariate analysis no such relationship was seen.


PINCH staining in normal adjacent mucosa was related to survival. Further, PINCH staining at the tumour invasive margin was related to survival in poorly differentiated tumours but not in better differentiated tumours, indicating that the impact of PINCH on prognosis was dependent on differentiation status.