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Am J Cancer Res. 2019 Feb 1;9(2):363-377. eCollection 2019.

SFRP4 is a prognostic marker and correlated with Treg cell infiltration in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

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Department of Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Shanghai, China.


Secreted Frizzled-Related Protein 4 (SFRP4), a member of secreted frizzled-related protein family, has been found as a vital modulator in cell proliferation, cell self-renew and apoptosis through Wnt signaling transduction pathway. In the present study, we re-analyzed the expression pattern of SFRPs in Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets and evaluated the expression of SFRP4 at protein level in both KrasG12D/+; Trp53R172H/+; Pdx1-Cre; (KPC) mice and human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tissue. We found that the expression of SFRP4 increased gradually in PanINs and PDAC lesions in KPC mice and high expression of SFRP4 was much more common in tumor lesions compared to the adjacent non-tumor tissues. Then we performed Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox regression analysis and found that high expression of SFRP4 in the serum and tumor lesions predicted poor prognosis for pancreatic cancer patients. Furthermore, we demonstrated that SFRP4 positively correlated with FOXP3+ Treg cells infiltration while the down-regulation of SFRP4 in tumor cells impaired the production of cytokines and the recruitments of T cells. This study suggested that SFRP4 can be a novel prognostic biomarker and potential therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer.


SFRP4; biomarkers; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; prognosis; regulatory T-cell


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