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Dis Markers. 2019 Mar 3;2019:7138754. doi: 10.1155/2019/7138754. eCollection 2019.

High Expression of RARβ Is a Favorable Factor in Colorectal Cancer.

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Department of Pathology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, 226001 Jiangsu, China.
School of Medicine, Nantong University, Nantong, 226001 Jiangsu, China.
Department of Clinical Biobank, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, 226001 Jiangsu, China.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, 226001 Jiangsu, China.


RARβ plays a critical role in cancer progression and is associated with several types of human cancer. It remains unclear, however, whether it is linked to the clinicopathological parameters of colorectal cancer (CRC). We therefore determined the expression of RARβ protein in patients with primary CRC and examined its relationship with clinical outcomes. RARβ expression in 234 samples of CRC patients and matched benign noncancerous tumors was detected by immunohistochemistry. RARβ mRNA expression was confirmed using the TCGA and Oncomine databases. COX regression analysis and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis were performed to determine the relationship between RARβ expression and CRC prognosis. Our results show that high expression of RARβ correlated with better prognosis in CRC patients. RARβ expression in CRC specimens was clearly lower than in peritumoral specimens (30.8% vs 58.8%, p < 0.001) and significantly correlated with gender (χ 2 = 3.926, p = 0.048), tumor differentiation (χ 2 = 5.978, p = 0.014), and tumor stage (χ 2 = 6.642, p = 0.036). Multivariate analyses further revealed that low RARβ expression (p = 0.001), distant metastasis (p = 0.001), tissue differentiation (p = 0.006), and tumor stage (p = 0.002) were associated with overall survival in CRC patients. In addition, Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that increased RARβ expression in cytoplasm (p = 0.001) and early tumor TNM stage (p = 0.030) was associated with a more favorable outcome in patients with CRC. In conclusion, RARβ expression was strongly correlated with several clinicopathological factors of CRC and may represent a favorable prognostic marker in patients with CRC.

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