J Cancer 2021; 12(23):6931-6936. doi:10.7150/jca.63333 This issue

Research Paper

Clinicopathological Significance of ATRX Expression in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Patients: A Retrospective Study

Yangchun Xie1, Haihua Wang2, Sisi Wang1, Yuhua Feng1, Yeqian Feng1, Songqing Fan2, Chunhong Hu1, Xianling Liu1, Tao Hou1✉

1. Department of Oncology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410011, China.
2. Department of Pathology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410011, China.

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Citation:
Xie Y, Wang H, Wang S, Feng Y, Feng Y, Fan S, Hu C, Liu X, Hou T. Clinicopathological Significance of ATRX Expression in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Patients: A Retrospective Study. J Cancer 2021; 12(23):6931-6936. doi:10.7150/jca.63333. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p6931.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the most common head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in south China. Radiation technology improves the local control rates in early NPC. However, the distant metastases are still the main cause of treatment failure. Thus, to find biomarkers for prognosis will help to enhance the survival of NPC. ATRX is a chromatin remodeling protein localized in the nucleus. Deletion or mutation of ATRX gene has been demonstrated in a variety of malignancies. However, the significance of ATRX expression in the prognosis of NPC remains unclear.

Methods: Tumor tissues from 227 NPC patients diagnosed in the Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University from 2011 to 2016 were selected. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the ATRX expression level of the tumor tissue. Chi-square test was used to analyze the relationship between ATRX expression and clinical characteristics such as age, sex, T stage, N stage and clinical stage. Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis, and log-rank was used to compare the difference in survival rate.

Results: There were 53 patients with negative ATRX expression, accounting for 24.2% of the total group. ATRX expression was not significantly associated with age, sex, N stage, clinical stage, and progression-free survival (PFS) (P>0.05). However, patients with negative ATRX expression had earlier T staging (P=0.045) and a higher 5-year overall survival (84.9% vs 66.9%, P=0.022).

Conclusions: Loss of ATRX expression may contribute to better prognosis in patients with NPC.

Keywords: Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma, ATRX, Staging, Survival, Prognosis