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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Jun 8;29:66. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-29-66.

Cancer-associated fibroblasts are positively correlated with metastatic potential of human gastric cancers.

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Department of General Surgery, the Second Military Medical University affiliated Changhai hospital, Shanghai 200433, China.



The prognosis of gastric cancer patients is difficult to predict because of defects in establishing the surgical-pathological features. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) have been found to play prominent role in promoting tumor growth, invasion and metastasis. Thus raises the hypothesis that the extent of CAFs prevalence may help to establish the prognosis of gastric cancer patients.


Immunochemistry and realtime-PCR experiments were carried out to compare the expression of proteins which are specific markers of CAFs or secreted by CAFs in the tumor and normal tissue specimens. The extent of CAFs' prevalence was graded according to immunochemical staining, and correlation was further analyzed between CAFs' prevalence and other tumor characteristics which may influence the prognosis of gastric cancer patients.


Nearly 80 percent of normal gastric tissues were negative or weak positive for CAFs staining, while more than 60 percent of gastric cancer tissues were moderate or strong positive for CAFs staining. Realtime-PCR results also showed significant elevated expression of FAP, SDF-1 and TGF-beta1 in gastric cancer tissues compared to normal gastric tissues. Further analysis showed that CAFs' prevalence was correlated with tumor size, depth of the tumor, lymph node metastasis, liver metastasis or peritoneum metastasis.


Reactive cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) were frequently accumulated in gastric cancer tissues, and the prevalence of CAFs was correlated with tumor size, depth of the tumor and tumor metastasis, thus give some supports for establishing the prognosis of the gastric cancer patients.

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