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CXCR4 Expression is Associated with Poor Prognosis in Patients with Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Masakazu Goto MD, Takahiro Yoshida MD, PhD, Yota Yamamoto MD, PhD, Yoshihito Furukita MD, Seiya Inoue MD, Satoshi Fujiwara MD, Naoya Kawakita MD, Takeshi Nishino MD, Takuya Minato MD, PhD, Yasuhiro Yuasa MD, PhD, Hiromichi Yamai MD, PhD, Hirokazu Takechi MD, PhD, Junichi Seike MD, PhD, Yoshimi Bando MD, PhD, Akira Tangoku MD, PhD
Translational Research and Biomarkers
Volume 24, Issue 3 / March , 2017



Chemokines and their receptors are known to play important roles in the tumorigenesis of many malignancies. The chemokine CXCL12 and its receptors CXCR4 and CXCR7 were suggested to be involved in cancer invasion and metastasis. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the prognostic impact of the expressions of CXCL12, CXCR4 and CXCR7 in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).


We used immunohistochemistry (IHC) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to evaluate the expressions of CXCL12, CXCR4, and CXCR7 in ESCC patients’ tumor biopsy specimens obtained during preoperative endoscopy or surgery. These results were compared with the patients’ clinicopathological parameters and survival.


IHC was conducted for 172 patients. High expression of CXCR4 in the cytoplasm and nuclei and that of CXCR7 were associated with poor cause-specific survival (CSS) (P= .002 and .010, respectively). The specimens from 52 of the 172 patients were examined by RT-PCR and quantitative real-time PCR. The expression levels of messenger RNA (mRNA) of CXCR4 and CXCR7 were significantly increased in the tumors compared with normal esophageal mucosae (P < .0001). The expression level of mRNA of CXCR4 was associated with poor recurrence-free survival and CSS (P = .012 and .038, respectively).


CXCR4 expression is associated with poor prognosis in patients with ESCC.

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