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||Survival outcomes in endometrial cancer patients are associated with CXCL12 and estrogen receptor expression.
||Felix AS, Stone RA, Chivukula M, Bowser R, Parwani AV, Linkov F, Edwards RP, Weissfeld JL
||Int J Cancer
||2012 Jul 15
||CXCL12 is a chemotactic cytokine that has pro-metastatic functions in several malignancies through interactions with its receptor, CXCR4. CXCL12 is an estrogen-regulated gene, and notably, estrogen is a major risk factor for endometrial cancer (EC) development. As few studies examine concurrent CXCL12, CXCR4, and estrogen receptor (ER) expression in EC patients, we examined this pathway in 199 EC patients with data from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cancer Registry. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to detect CXCR4, CXCL12 and ER protein expression. As CXCR4 expression was positive in all cases, this investigation focused on associations between CXCL12 and ER expression, clinicopathologic factors and survival outcomes using chi-square tests, Kaplan-Meier graphs, and log-rank tests. CXCL12 expression was negative in 63 cases (32%) and positive in 136 cases (68%). Negative CXCL12 expression was borderline significantly associated with metastasis (χ(2) p = 0.07). ER expression was negative in 75 cases (38%) and positive in 124 cases (62%). Positive ER expression was significantly associated with low grade and early stage tumors (χ(2) p < 0.001). CXCL12 and ER were not significantly associated (χ(2) p = 0.11). Positive CXCL12 expression was associated with longer overall survival (OS) (log-rank p = 0.006) and longer recurrence-free survival (RFS) (log-rank p = 0.01) in ER negative patients, but not in ER positive patients. We identified a unique molecular signature associated with better OS and RFS in EC patients. In addition to pathological characteristics of the tumor, expression of CXCL12 and ER may be clinically useful for assigning adjuvant treatment to EC cases.