Brief Article
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World J Gastroenterol. Apr 7, 2013; 19(13): 2073-2079
Published online Apr 7, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i13.2073
Clinicopathological and prognostic significance of galectin-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in gastric cancer
Jie Chen, Su-Jun Zhou, Yun Zhang, Guo-Qiang Zhang, Tian-Zhou Zha, Yi-Zhong Feng, Kai Zhang
Jie Chen, Su-Jun Zhou, Yun Zhang, Guo-Qiang Zhang, Tian-Zhou Zha, Kai Zhang, Department of General Surgery, Yixing People’s Hospital, the Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Yixing 214200, Jiangsu Province, China
Yi-Zhong Feng, Department of Pathology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou 215004, Jiangsu Province, China
Author contributions: Chen J carried out data analysis and wrote the manuscript; Zhou SJ designed this study and performed the statistical analyses; Zhang Y, Zhang GQ, Feng YZ and Zha TZ participated in clinicopathological data collection; Chen J and Zhang K scored the immunostained slides, prepared the images and reviewd the manuscript.
Correspondence to: Kai Zhang, MD, Department of General Surgery, Yixing People’s Hospital, the Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, No. 75, Tongzhen Guan Road, Yixing 214200, Jiangsu Province, China.
Telephone: +86-510-87071163 Fax: +86-510-87918767
Received: December 18, 2012
Revised: January 28, 2013
Accepted: February 5, 2013
Published online: April 7, 2013

AIM: To evaluate the expression of galectin-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in gastric cancer and investigate their relationships with clinicopathologic factors and prognostic significance.

METHODS: Galectin-1 and VEGF were immunohistochemically investigated in tumor samples obtained from 214 gastric cancer patients with all tumor stages. Immunohistochemical analyses for galectin-1 and VEGF expression were performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections of surgical specimens. The relationship between the expression and staining intensity of galectin-1 and VEGF, clinicopathologic variables, and patient survival were analyzed. All patients underwent follow-up until cancer-related death or more than five years after tumor resection. P values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that 138 of 214 gastric cancer samples (64.5%) were positive for galectin-1, and 116 out of 214 gastric cancer samples (54.2%) were positive for VEGF. There was a significant association between galectin-1 and VEGF expression; VEGF was detected in 60.1% of galectin-1-positive samples and 43.4% of galectin-1-negative samples (P < 0.05). Galectin-1 expression was associated with tumor size, tumor location, stage, lymph node metastases, and VEGF expression (all P < 0.05). VEGF expression was related to tumor size, stage, and lymph node metastases (all P < 0.05). The 5-year survival rate was 56.6% for galectin-1-positive patients and 69.2% for galectin-1-negative patients, and the prognosis for galectin-1-positive patients was significantly poorer compared with galectin-1-negative patients (χ2 = 13.880, P = 0.000). The 5-year survival rates for VEGF-positive and VEGF-negative patients were 53.4% and 70.5%, respectively (χ2 = 4.619, P = 0.032). The overall survival rate of patients with both galectin-1 and VEGF overexpression in gastric cancer tissue samples was significantly poorer than other groups (both P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Galectin-1 expression was positively associated with VEGF expression. Both galectin-1 and VEGF can serve as independent prognostic indicators of poor survival for gastric cancer after gastrectomy.

Keywords: Galectin-1, Vascular endothelial growth factor, Gastric cancer, Prognosis

Core tip: Galectin-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) played important roles in angiogenesis and progression of malignant tumor, while their expression in Chinese gastric cancer and relationship between the two parameters and clinicopathological features, as well as prognostic value remained largely unknown. In this present study, we examined 214 gastric cancer samples for the presence of galectin-1 oncoprotein and VEGF by immunohistochemistry and found that overexpressions of galectin-1 and VEGF were related with tumor progression and poor survival, and our findings supported an association between galectin-1 and VEGF expression. These two molecules may serve as independent predicative markers for patient prognosis in gastric cancer.