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Vasculogenic mimicry is associated with increased tumor-infiltrating neutrophil and poor outcome in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Authors Zhang J, Zhang G, Hu P, Deng G, Liu Q, Qiao L, Luo H, Zhang J

Received 23 February 2017

Accepted for publication 10 May 2017

Published 9 June 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 2923—2930


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chiung-Kuei Huang

Jingxin Zhang,1,* Guoxia Zhang,2,* Pingping Hu,3 Guodong Deng,4 Qiqi Liu,4 Lili Qiao,4 Hui Luo,1 Jiandong Zhang3

1Department of Oncology, Weifang Medical College, Weifang, 2Department of Pathology, 3Department of Radiation Oncology, Qianfoshan Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, 4Department of Oncology, Shandong University School of Medicine, Jinan, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) is known to be a mechanism to nourish the tumor, but little is known about its prognostic significance in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We characterized the predictive relevance of VM expression and tumor-infiltrating neutrophil (TIN) density in patients with resectable ESCC.
Methods: We retrospectively collected clinicopathologic characteristics of 117 esophageal cancer (EC) patients undergoing complete resection and without preoperative therapy. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of E-cadherin and CD66b. CD34/periodic acid-schiff (PAS) double staining was used to detect the expression of VM.
Results: VM expression was observed in 56 (47.9%) patients. VM was negatively correlated with E-cadherin (correlation coefficient =–0.364, P<0.001) and was positively correlated with infiltration of CD66b neutrophil (correlation coefficient =0.421, P<0.001). VM and CD66b+ neutrophil infiltration are important markers for poor overall survival and disease-free survival. Multivariate analysis showed that VM, CD66b+ neutrophil infiltration, pathologic tumor node metastasis (TNM) (pTNM) stage, and tumor differentiation are significant independent prognostic predictors in ECs (P=0.001, 0.025, 0.001, 0.011, respectively). VM expression is identified in ~47.9% of ESCC, and it is associated with poor outcome and increased TIN.
Conclusion: TIN is an important factor for VM formation. Therefore, studies of invasive ability of EC in patients with VM could supply significant information for therapeutic strategy.

Keywords: E-cadherin, CD66b, cancer, CD34/PAS double staining, prognosis

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