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PKCα is a Potentially Useful Marker for Planning Individualized Radiotherapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Authors Zhang J, Zhang L, Xie B, Duan Y, Wang Y, Shen L

Received 2 November 2020

Accepted for publication 3 March 2021

Published 17 March 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 2557—2566

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S289421

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Antonella D'Anneo


Jing Zhang,1 Lu Zhang,2 Bowen Xie,2 Yumei Duan,3 Ying Wang,4 Liangfang Shen1

1Department of Oncology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University (CSU), Changsha, 410008, People’s Republic of China; 2Key Laboratory of Molecular Radiation Oncology, Changsha, Hunan Province, 410008, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Pathology, Xiangya Hospital, CSU, Changsha, 410008, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Radiology, Xiangya Hospital, CSU, Changsha, 410008, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Liangfang Shen
Department of Oncology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University (CSU), No. 87 Xiangya Road, Changsha, 410008, Hunan, People’s Republic of China
Email [email protected]

Purpose: To examine the expression of protein kinase C alpha (PKCα) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and determine its relationship to the radio-sensitivity of NPC in order to evaluate its potential as a molecular marker for the guidance of individualized radiation therapy for NPC.
Materials and Methods: PKCα expression levels were detected in tumor samples from patients and in NPC cell lines with varying degrees of radio-sensitivity. A survival analysis was performed to analyze the association of PKCα expression with the 5-year overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS), and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) in patients. In vitro and in vivo experiments using NPC cell lines were performed to study the effects of down-regulation of PKCα by short hairpin RNA treatment on the radio-sensitivity of NPC.
Results: PKCα expression was up-regulated in the well-differentiated NPC tissues of patients and in the more radio-resistant NPC cell lines. Moreover, high PKCα expression was associated with a worse 5-year PFS and LRFS of patients. shRNA-mediated knockdown of PKCα led to an increase in the sensitivity of NPC cells to radiation therapy, both in vitro as cultured cells and in vivo as tumor xenografts.
Conclusion: The elevated expression of PKCα in NPC and its association with patient PFS indicates that PKCα is a potential molecular marker for guiding precision radiotherapy in NPC patients. Also, the increased radiosensitivity of NPC cells after loss of PKCα identifies PKCα as a promising therapeutic target for enhancing the radio-sensitivity of NPC.

Keywords: PKCα, marker, individualized radiotherapy, nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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