Background: Cholangiocellular carcinoma (CCC) remains to be a tumor with very few treatment choices and limited prognosis. In this study, we sought to determine the prognostic role of VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1), heparanase (HPSE) and EGF receptor (EGFR) gene expression in patients with resected CCC.
Methods: 47 formallin-fixed paraffin embedded FFPE tumor samples from patients with resected CCC were analyzed. FFPE tissues were dissected using laser-captured microdissection and analyzed for VEGFR1, HPSE and EGFR mRNA expression using a quantitative real-time RT-PCR method. Gene expression values (relative mRNA levels) are expressed as ratios between the target gene and internal reference genes (beta-actin, b2mg, rplp2, sdha).
Results: VEGFR1 and HPSE expression levels were significantly associated with overall survival (OS). Patients expressing low levels of VEGFR1 displayed a median OS of 23.2 months compared to 5.3 months in patients with high VEGFR1 expression (p=0.006, logrank test). Patients with low HPSE expression had a median OS of 19.8 months compared to 10.0 months in patients with high HPSE expression (p=0.02, logrank test). EGFR and PDGFRα expression were significantly associated with HPSE and VEGFR1 expression (p=0.03 and p<0.0001, respectively).
Conclusions: These results suggest that VEGFR1 and HPSE gene expression levels may play a role as prognostic factors in patients with CCC. Further studies are warranted to study these associations.
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