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Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Jun;8(12):1146-53. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

Villin1, a novel diagnostic marker for cervical adenocarcinoma.

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RadGenomics Research Group, Research Center for Charged Particle Therapy, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba, Japan.


The number of new cervical adenocarcinoma (AD) cases has risen slowly, however, its histological similarity to other tumor types and the difficulty of identifying the site of the original tumor makes the diagnosis of cervical AD particularly challenging. We investigated a novel molecular biomarker for cervical AD through the integration of multiple methods of genomic analysis. Tumor samples in discovery set were obtained from 87 patients who underwent radiotherapy, including 31 cervical AD. Microarray analysis and quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis were performed to screen a candidate diagnostic molecule for cervical AD, and its clinical significance was investigated by immunohistochemical analysis (IHC). We found a difference between biopsy samples of AD and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in the expression and genomic copy number of Villin1 (VIL1), which maps to 2q35. IHC revealed 14 VIL1-positive tumors; 13 cervical AD and one small cell carcinoma of cervix, while none of SCC or endometrial AD was VIL1-positive. Kaplan-Meier survival curves revealed worse disease-free survival in VIL1-positive tumors. The marker was validated by newly enrolled 65 patients, and VIL1 positive staining showed 52% of sensitivity and 100% of selectivity for cervical AD. In conclusion, we have identified VIL1 as a novel biomarker of cervical AD. VIL1, a major structural component of the brush border cytoskeleton, which was recently found to be an epithelial cell-specific anti-apoptotic protein. Our study suggests the existence of a subtype of cervical tumors which are VIL1 positive with poor radioresponse.

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