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BMC Cancer. 2010 Apr 8;10:132. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-132.

Elevated tumor and serum levels of the hypoxia-associated protein osteopontin are associated with prognosis for soft tissue sarcoma patients.

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  • 1Department of Radiotherapy, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.



Osteopontin (OPN) overexpression is correlated with a poor prognosis for tumor patients. However, only a few studies investigated the prognostic impact of expression of OPN in soft tissue sarcomas (STS) yet.


This study is based on tumor and serum samples from 93 adult STS patients. We investigated OPN protein levels in serum (n = 86) and tumor tissue (n = 80) by ELISA and OPN mRNA levels in tumor tissue (n = 68) by quantitative real-time PCR.


No correlation was found between OPN levels in serum and tumor tissue. Moreover, an elevated OPN protein level in the serum was significantly associated with clinical parameters such as higher stage (p = 0.004), higher grade (p = 0.003), subtype (p = 0.002) and larger tumor size (p = 0.03). OPN protein levels in the tumor tissue were associated with higher stage (p = 0.06), higher grade (p = 0.003), subtype (p = 0.07) and an increased rate of relapse (p = 0.02). In addition, using a Cox's proportional hazards regression model, we found that an elevated OPN protein level in the serum and tumor tissue extracts is a significant negative prognostic factor for patients with STS. The relative risks of tumor-related death were 2.2 (p < 0.05) and 3.7 (p = 0.01), respectively.


Our data suggest OPN protein in serum as well as in tumor tissue extracts is an important prognostic factor for soft tissue sarcoma patients.

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