The SMAD4 protein and prognosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Metin Tascilar, Christophe Rosty, Robb E. Wilentz, Scott E. Kern, Ralph H. Hruban, Michael Goggins, Halcyon G. Skinner, Taylor Sohn, G. Johan A. Offerhaus, Ross A. Abrams, John L. Cameron, Charles J. Yeo, Volkan Adsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

292 Scopus citations


Purpose: SMAD4 (also called Dpc4) is a tumor suppressor in the TGF-β signaling1 pathway that is genetically inactivated in ∼55% of all pancreatic adenocarcinomas. We investigated whether prognosis after surgical resection for invasive pancreatic adenocarcinoma is influenced by SMAD4 status. Experimental Design: Using immunohistochemistry, we characterized the SMAD4 protein status of 249 pancreatic adenocarcinomas resected from patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple resection) at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, between 1990 and 1997. The SMAD4 gene status of 56 of 249 (22%) pancreatic carcinomas was also determined. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model assessed the relative risk of mortality associated with SMAD4 status, adjusting for known prognostic variables. Results: Patients with pancreatic adenocarcinomas with SMAD4 protein expression had significantly longer survival (unadjusted median survival was 19.2 months as compared with 14.7 months in patients with pancreatic cancers lacking SMAD4 protein expression; P = 0.03). This SMAD4 survival benefit persisted after adjustment for prognostic factors including tumor size, margins, lymph node status, pathological stage, blood loss, and use of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. The relative hazard of mortality for cancers lacking SMAD4 after adjusting for other prognostic factors was 1.36 (95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.83; P = 0.04). Conclusion: Patients undergoing Whipple resection for pancreatic adenocarcinoma survive longer if their cancers express SMAD4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4115-4121
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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