J Cancer 2020; 11(4):810-818. doi:10.7150/jca.36498

Research Paper

High CXCR4 Expression Predicts a Poor Prognosis in Resected Lung Adenosquamous Carcinoma

Qiaoliang Zhu1*, Rongkui Luo2*, Jie Gu1, Yingyong Hou2, Zongwei Chen1, Fengkai Xu1, Lin Wang1, Wei Mao1, Chunlai Lu1✉, Di Ge1,3✉

1. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, P. R. China.
2. Department of Pathology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, P. R. China.
3. Shanghai Respiratory Research Institute, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China.
*Qiaoliang Zhu and Rongkui Luo contributed equally to this work.

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Zhu Q, Luo R, Gu J, Hou Y, Chen Z, Xu F, Wang L, Mao W, Lu C, Ge D. High CXCR4 Expression Predicts a Poor Prognosis in Resected Lung Adenosquamous Carcinoma. J Cancer 2020; 11(4):810-818. doi:10.7150/jca.36498. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v11p0810.htm

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Background: Primary adenosquamous carcinoma (ASC) is a rare malignant tumor in the lung and its biological behavior has not yet been thoroughly described. In this study, we aimed to explore the clinical and biological role of CXCR4 in patients with resected lung ASC.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical records of patients with histologically confirmed lung ASC who underwent surgical resection with systematic lymph node dissection. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to detect the expression of CXCR4 in tumor tissues. The correlation between CXCR4 expression and clinicopathological characteristics were evaluated. The association between CXCR4 expression and patients' prognosis was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression. Moreover, we performed in vitro studies including CCK8, transwell and cell apoptosis to explore the potential role of CXCR4 in lung ASC.

Results: A total of 78 patients with resected lung ASC were reviewed. Seventy (89.7%) patient tumors expressed CXCR4, with high level of CXCR4 expression observed in 45 (57.7%) cases. In vitro, CXCR4 conferred no difference in proliferative capacity but increased invasive potential, enhanced chemoresistance and inhibited apoptosis of lung ASC. Clinically, high CXCR4 expression was significantly associated with solid ASC, lymph node metastasis and advanced TNM stage. Patients with high CXCR4 expression and solid ASC had decreased disease-free survival and overall survival.Conclusions: CXCR4 was commonly expressed in lung ASC tumors. High CXCR4 expression might be a novel marker in predicting a poor prognosis in resected lung ASC and might serve as a potential therapeutic target.

Keywords: CXCR4, lung adenosquamous carcinoma, prognosis