Article

Expression and clinical significance of Wnt-1 and beta-catenin in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, PR China.
Ai zheng = Aizheng = Chinese journal of cancer 02/2009; 28(1):72-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT As signaling molecule and key component of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway respectively, Wnt-1 and beta-catenin are abnormally expressed in several malignancies and correlate with poor prognosis. This study was to investigate the expression and clinical significance of Wnt-1 and beta-catenin in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
The expression of Wnt-1 and beta-catenin in 111 specimens of NPC was detected by SP immunohistochemistry. Their correlations to relapse-free survival (RFS), metastasis-free survival (MFS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed.
The high expression of beta-catenin was observed in 64 (57.7%) of the 111 cases. Its high expression rate was significantly higher in advanced NPC than in early stage NPC (63.1% vs. 40.7%, p = 0.041). The RFS, MFS and PFS were lower in high beta-catenin expression group than in low beta-catenin expression group (p < 0.05). Cox regression analysis demonstrated that beta-catenin was related to poor prognosis of NPC patients. The high expression of Wnt-1 was observed in 68 (61.3%) of the 111 cases, but its expression had no effect on RFS, MFS and PFS (p > 0.05).
Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway may be activated abnormally in some NPC patients. beta-catenin may be a prognostic factor of NPC.

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    ABSTRACT: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an uncommon cancer, which has a distinctive ethnic and geographic distribution. Etiology of NPC is considered to be related with a complex interaction of environmental and genetic factors as well as Epstein-Barr virus infection. Since NPC is located in the silent painless area, the disease is usually therefore diagnosed at the advanced stages; hence early detection of NPC is difficult. Furthermore, understanding in molecular pathogenesis is still lacking, pondering the identification of effective prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers. Dysregulation of signaling molecules in intracellular signal transduction, which regulate cell proliferation, apoptosis, and adhesion, underlines the basis of NPC pathogenesis. In this paper, the molecular signaling pathways in the NPC are discussed for the holistic view of NPC development and progression. The important insights toward NPC pathogenesis may offer strategies for identification of novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis.
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