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Br J Cancer. 2011 Feb 15;104(4):714-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6606075. Epub 2011 Jan 11.

Expression of BMP-7 in human gastric cancer and its clinical significance.

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Digestive Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Kagoshima University School of Medicine, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520, Japan.



Bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) is a signalling molecule belonging to the transforming growth factor--superfamily. Recent studies have demonstrated the clinical impact of BMP-7 expression in various human cancers. However, there have been few reports detailing this in gastric cancer.


We immunohistochemically investigated the expression of BMP-7 in 233 gastric cancer patients to disclose the clinicopathological features of BMP-7-positive gastric cancer.


Immunohistochemically, in human gastric cancer, BMP-7 expression was identified in cellular membranes but also in the cytoplasm of cancer cells. Bone morphogenetic protein-7-positive expression was found in 129 of 233 patients (55%). Bone morphogenetic protein-7 expression was correlated with tumour size, nodal involvement, lymphatic invasion, venous invasion and histology (P<0.05). Bone morphogenetic protein-7 expression was significantly correlated with patient postoperative outcome, especially in the undifferentiated group. Multivariate analysis revealed BMP-7 expression as one of the independent prognostic factors next to the depth of invasion and nodal involvement (P<0.01).


From the data collected, it would be appropriate to conclude on the possible regulation of gastric cancer progression by autocrine or paracrine BMP-7 loops. We can use BMP-7 expression as one of the strong predictors of risk of tumour recurrence in gastric cancer.

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