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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(12):7681-4.

Immunoregulatory function of HLA-G in gastric cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Gata Haydarpasa Training Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey E-mail :



Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G-positive gastric cancers are associated with poor survival, but links with tumor escape mechanisms remain to be determined.


We used immunohistochemistry to investigate HLA-G expression, tumor infiltrating CD8+ T lymphocytes, and Treg cells in 52 gastric cancer patients.


There were 29 cancer-related deaths during the follow-up period. Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that patients with HLA-G-positive (n=16) primary tumors had a significantly poorer prognosis than patients with HLA-G-negative tumors (n=36, p=0.008). The median survival time was 14 months and 47 months, respectively. Patients with high numbers of Tregs and low numbers of CD8+T lymphocytes in the primary tumor had a poorer prognosis than those with low numbers of Tregs and high numbers of CD8+T lymphocytes (p=0.034, p=0.043). Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis showed that HLA-G expression (hazard ratio: 2.662; 95% confidence interval: 1.242-5.723; p=0.012) and stage (hazard ratio: 2.012;95% confidence interval: 1.112-3.715; p=0.041) were independent unfavorable factors for patient survival.


We found a significant positive correlation between HLA-G expression and the number of tumor infiltrating Tregs (p=0.01) and a negative correlation with the number of CD8+T lymphocytes (p=0.041). HLA-G may protect gastric cancer cells from cytolysis by inducing Foxp3+Treg lymphocytes and suppressing CD8+T lymphocytes.

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