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Pathol Oncol Res. 2014 Jul;20(3):603-10. doi: 10.1007/s12253-013-9738-6. Epub 2013 Dec 28.

HIF-1α expression correlates with cellular apoptosis, angiogenesis and clinical prognosis in rectal carcinoma.

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Department of Urinary Surgery, the Children's Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Child Development and Disorder, Key Laboratory of Pediatrics in Chongqing (CSTC2009CA5002), Chongqing, 400014, China.


Regional hypoxia caused by accelerated cell proliferation and overgrowth is an important characteristic of neoplasm. Hypoxia can cause a series of changes in gene transcription and protein expression, thereby not only inducing tumor cell resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy but also promoting tumor invasion and metastasis. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between HIF-1α expression and cellular apoptosis, angiogenesis and clinical prognosis in rectal carcinoma. In 113 rectal carcinoma cases, cellular apoptosis was analyzed by the in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay, whereas the levels of HIF-1α expression, VEGF expression, microvessel density (MVD) and lymphatic vessel density(LVD) were examined by immunohistochemical staining. HIF-1 expression was detected in 67 of 113 rectal carcinoma cases (59.3 %). A positive correlation was found among HIF-1α expression, cellular apoptosis and angiogenesis. The 5-year survival rate in the HIF-1α-negative group was significantly higher than that in the HIF-1α-positive group (81.34 % versus 50 %, P < 0.05). According to the Cox regression analysis, HIF-1α expression, VEGF expression and cellular apoptosis index were independent risk factors for clinical prognosis in rectal carcinoma. Aberrant HIF-1α expression correlates with apoptosis inhibition, angiogenesis and poor prognosis in rectal carcinoma.

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