J Cancer 2016; 7(8):984-990. doi:10.7150/jca.14237

Research Paper

The Role of Prion Protein Expression in Predicting Gastric Cancer Prognosis

Zhaoqing Tang1*, Ji Ma2*, Wei Zhang2,5, Changguo Gong2, Jing He2, Ying Wang2,3, Guohua Yu2, Chonggang Yuan2, Xuefei Wang1, Yihong Sun1, Jiyan Ma2,4, Fenglin Liu1✉, Yulan Zhao2✉

1. Department of General surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China
2. School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, P.R. China;
3. Department of Physiology, Renji College, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, P.R. China.
4. Center for Neurodegenerative Science, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
5. Department of Pathology, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai, P.R. China
* Both authors contributed equally.

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Tang Z, Ma J, Zhang W, Gong C, He J, Wang Y, Yu G, Yuan C, Wang X, Sun Y, Ma J, Liu F, Zhao Y. The Role of Prion Protein Expression in Predicting Gastric Cancer Prognosis. J Cancer 2016; 7(8):984-990. doi:10.7150/jca.14237. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v07p0984.htm

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Previous reports indicated that prion protein (PrP) is involved in gastric cancer (GC) development and progression, but its role in GC prognosis has been poorly characterized. A total of 480 GC patients were recruited in this retrospective study. PrP expression in cancerous and non-cancerous gastric tissues was detected by using the tissue microarray and immunohistochemical staining techniques. Our results showed that the PrP expression in GC was significantly less frequent than that in the non-cancerous gastric tissue (44.4% vs 66.4%, P < 0.001). Cox regression analysis revealed that PrP expression was associated with TNM stage, survival status and survival time. GC patients with higher TNM stages (stages II, III and IV) had significantly lower PrP expression levels in tumors than those with lower TNM stages (stages 0 and I). Kaplan-Meier survival curves revealed that negative PrP expression was associated with poor overall survival (log-rank test: P < 0.001). The mean survival time for patients with negative PrP expression was significant lower than those with positive PrP expression (43.0±28.5m vs. 53.9±31.1m, P<0.001). In multivariate Cox hazard regression, PrP expression was an independent prognostic factor for GC survival, with a HR (hazard ratio) of 0.687 (95%CI:0.520-0.907, P=0.008). Our results revealed that negative PrP expression could independently predict worse outcome in GC and thereby could be used to guide the clinical practice.

Keywords: prion protein, gastric cancer, prognosis, biomarker.