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Int J Oncol. 2006 Jun;28(6):1375-84.

Genome-wide gene expression profile analysis of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


To identify the molecules involved in esophageal carcinogenesis and those applicable as novel tumor markers and for the development of new molecular therapies, we performed gene expression profile analysis of 19 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cells purified by laser microbeam microdissection (LMM). Using a cDNA microarray representing 32,256 genes, we identified 147 genes that were commonly up-regulated and 376 transcripts that were down-regulated in ESCC cells compared with non-cancerous esophageal epithelial cells. A comparison of clinicopathological data with the expression profiles of the 19 ESCCs identified 20 genes whose expression levels could most significantly separate cases with lymph node metastasis from those without. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis of candidate tumor markers on tissue microarrays demonstrated transactivation of a secretory protein, transforming growth factor alpha (TGFA) in the great majority of 228 ESCC cases and an association of their expression with the poor prognosis of patients. Our data provide valuable information for establishing novel diagnostic markers for early diagnosis and choice of therapy, and identifying therapeutic target molecules for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs and immunotherapy in esophageal cancer treatment.

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