EpCAM stands for epithelial cell adhesion molecule which is a cell surface protein
(antigen) and is highly expressed in major cancer types such as breast, prostate,
colon, ovarian, gastric, lung and pancreatic cancer. It is thus considered as a well
established marker for cancer of epithelial origin and an ideal therapeutic target.
It is not only limited to epithelial carcinomas but can also be expressed in various
other epithelial tissues, progenitor and stem cells. EpCAM is not found in non-epithelial
cells or in cancer without epithelial origin. EpCAM plays significant role during
cell adhesion, proliferation, cell signaling, migration and differentiation. Over
expression of EpCAM has been shown to promote the proliferation in primary breast
carcinomas (PBCs) and other cancer types.
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