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Expression and significance of GRHL2 in esophageal cancer

Authors Shao CC, Ji CS, Wang XQ, Hu B

Received 21 November 2016

Accepted for publication 7 March 2017

Published 7 April 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 2025—2031

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S128294

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Norbert Ajeawung

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Tohru Yamada

Chengcheng Shao,1 Chushu Ji,1 Xiaoqiu Wang,2 Bing Hu1

1Department of Medical Oncology, 2Department of Pathology, Anhui Provincial Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Esophageal cancer (EC) is one of the most common causes of cancer-related mortality in the world. Although much effort has been made to improve the 5-year survival rate of patients with EC, it still remains low due to diagnosis at an advanced stage, aggressive local invasion, early metastasis, and resistance to chemotherapy. Although grainyhead-like 2 (GRHL2) has attracted interest since it has been recently identified as a novel suppressor of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition, clinical values of GRHL2 and its relationship with the metastasis-related factors, such as hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), remain unclear. In order to investigate the expression of GRHL2, HIF-1α, and VEGF, and their correlation with angiogenesis in EC, 63 patients with EC were examined. The expression of GRHL2, HIF-1α, and VEGF in tumor tissues was higher than that in adjacent tissues and was associated with tumor differentiation. GRHL2 expression was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis and invasion depth, whereas VEGF expression was associated with tumor (TNM) stage. A significant correlation was found between the expression of GRHL2 and HIF-1α. The patients expressing low GRHL2 and high HIF-1α showed significant reduction in both overall survival rate and disease-free survival rate. The results demonstrated that abnormal expression of GRHL2 is common in EC, and low expression of GRHL2 accompanied by a high expression of HIF-1α indicates poor prognosis.

Keywords: esophageal neoplasms, GRHL2, HIF-1α, VEGF, MVD

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