Aim Previous studies have shown that neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is overexpressed in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and closely associated with the invasiveness of ESCC cells. Recently, NGAL receptor (NGALR) was identified from ESCC cells, and was also found to be increased in ESCC. The purpose of this study was to reveal the clinical significance of NGAL and/or NGALR in ESCC.
Methods Tissue microarray was performed to detect expression of NGAL and NGALR in 222 ESCC specimens. Pearson χ2 test was used to analyse correlations between NGAL and/or NGALR expression and clinicopathological features. Kaplan–Meier survival curves and the Cox proportional hazards regression model were used to evaluate the effect of NGAL and/or NGALR expression on prognosis of patients with ESCC.
Results NGAL and NGALR were highly expressed in ESCC. χ2 test results showed no significant correlations between NGAL or NGALR expression and clinicopathological features. However, NGAL/NGALR coexpression correlated with histological differentiation grade (p=0.033). Survival analysis showed that positive expression of NGAL or NGALR was significantly associated with a poor prognosis for patients with ESCC (p=0.000 or p=0.002). Patients with positive expression of both NGAL and NGALR had a shorter survival time than those with negative expression of both (p=0.048). Multivariate analysis showed that both NGAL and NGALR were independent prognostic factors.
Conclusion These results indicate that both NGAL and NGALR may be involved in the progression of ESCC and can be considered as independent prognostic factors of ESCC.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
ZPD and ZL contributed equally to this work.
Funding This work was supported by grants from the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (No 2006AA02A403), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No 30672376), the NSFC-Guangdong Joint Fund (No U0932001) and the Guangdong Scientific Fund Key Items (No 7118419).
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the ethics committee of the Central Hospital of Shantou City.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.