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Oncol Lett. 2012 Jun;3(6):1207-1212. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Overexpression of the B-type Eph and ephrin genes correlates with progression and pain in human pancreatic cancer.

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Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region 750004.


B-type erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular (EphB) receptors and their ephrin ligands are associated with aggressive behavior and poor prognosis in a number of malignancies. The aim of this study was to determine the association between the aberrant expression of these genes and prognosis in human pancreatic cancer. The expression of EphB and the ephrin ligands was determined using real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR in 46 human primary pancreatic cancers. Overexpression of EphB2 and a more modest overexpression of ephrin-B2 mRNA were observed in more than 44% (20/46) of the pancreatic cancer specimens examined. Overexpression (>upper quartile) of EphB2 and ephrin-B2 was markedly associated with abdominal and/or back pain. Multivariate analysis identified the overexpression of EphB2 as an independent prognostic factor for disease-free and overall survival (both P<0.05). The results of the present study suggest that an increased level of ephrin-B2, in the presence of a high expression of EphB2, leads to a more aggressive tumor phenotype and that EphB2 may be used as a prognostic factor in human pancreatic cancer.

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