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Clin Exp Metastasis. 2014 Aug;31(6):689-96. doi: 10.1007/s10585-014-9659-0. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

Metadherin expression and lung relapse in patients with colorectal carcinoma.

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Luis Costa Unit, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa, Ed. Egas Moniz, Room P3A5, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, 1649-028, Lisbon, Portugal,


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common malignant disease in men and the second in women worldwide. CRC relapse occurs mostly in liver and lungs, decreasing the 5-year survival to 6 %. Metadherin (MTDH) is overexpressed in several types of cancer, has been implicated in proliferation, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis, and chemoresistance, and is a factor of poor prognosis in CRC. In this work we addressed the prognostic significance of MTDH expression in CRC progression to the lungs. We found that MTDH gene was more frequently amplified (copy number >1.8) in patients with CRC and relapse to the lung, when compared to patients without lung metastases (17.4 vs 100 %; p < 0.001). We observed a correlation between MTDH gene copy number and MTDH expression by IHC (p = 0.0001). Next we also analyzed MTDH expression by IHC in samples from 85 patients diagnosed with CRC, stage II or III, M0, with at least 3 years of follow-up. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that lung relapse-free survival (HR 5.29, 95 % CI 1.90-14.77, p = 0.0004), liver relapse-free survival (HR 8.59, 95 % CI 0.99-74.18, p = 0.003), relapse-free survival (HR 4.85, 95 % CI 1.88-12.45, p = 0.0003) and overall survival (HR 3.75, 95 % CI 1.15-12.18, p = 0.018) were significantly lower in the group with high MTDH expression. Multivariate analysis showed that high MTDH expression was an independent factor for all outcomes. This study demonstrates that high MTDH expression is a biomarker of relapse in CRC, including lung-specific relapse. Determination of MTDH expression in primary CRC may be useful in the earlier detection of lung metastases in patients with high expression and increased risk.

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