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High expression of proenkephalin is associated with favorable outcomes in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Authors Tang D, Lin T, Wang Y, Cao H

Received 18 January 2019

Accepted for publication 11 May 2019

Published 17 July 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 6681—6690


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rituraj Purohit

Defeng Tang,1,2 Tianlong Lin,1 Yangyang Wang,1 Hui Cao1

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200127, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of General Surgery, Tongren Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200336, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: The aim of this study was to elucidate the prognostic value of proenkephalin (PENK) in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs).
Patients and methods: We collected data on 268 eligible postoperative patients diagnosed with GIST between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2011. PENK expression was detected in GIST tissues classified using the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) risk classification system. The associations between high PENK expression and the clinicopathological characteristics were assessed. Overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) were estimated by Kaplan–Meier analysis, and the log-rank test was used to compare the differences between groups. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were conducted to assess the prognostic value of PENK in GIST patients.
Results: High PENK expression was more common in the low- and intermediate-risk GIST groups compared with the high-risk group (P<0.05). Additionally, PENK expression was associated with tumor size, mitosis count per 50 high-power fields, and tumor rupture (P<0.05). Kaplan–Meier analysis revealed that high PENK expression was associated with superior OS and RFS, while low PENK expression was associated with worse OS and RFS. Furthermore, PENK was shown to be an independent predictor of OS and RFS in the overall population (for OS, hazard ratio [HR], 1.596, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.006–2.914, P<0.001; for RFS, HR, 1.910, 95% CI, 0.977–3.089, P<0.001).
Conclusion: PENK expression in GIST is closely associated with NIH risk grade and prognosis, indicating that PENK may act as a tumor suppressor and may serve as a new biomarker for predicting prognosis in postoperative GIST patients.

Keywords: PENK, GIST, prognosis

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