The CXCR4/CXCR7/CXCL12 chemokine axis plays important roles in the migration of tumor cells during cancer development by modulating site-specific distant metastasis including to regional lymph nodes. We investigated the correlation of these chemokine expressions to prognosis in lymph-node-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. A total of 140 surgically resected specimens of primary site (PS) and metastatic lymph nodes (MLN) of NSCLC involving hilar and/or mediastinal lymph nodes (N1-2) were collected. CXCR4, CXCR7 and CXCL12 expressions were evaluated. Cox regression analysis was performed to determine whether these chemokines were independent prognostic factors in N1-2 NSCLC. High expression of CXCR4 in PS and CXCL12 in MLN was associated with poor overall survival (OS) (P =.025 and.033, respectively). Significant correlations between CXCR4 expression in PS and CXCL12 expression in MLN were observed (P =.040). There was significant difference in OS between 2 groups according to expressions of CXCR4 in PS and CXCL12 in MLN (P =.0033). Expression of CXCL12 in MLN was identified as an independent prognostic factor (HR 1.79, 95% CI 1.08-3.04, P =.023). CXCL12 in MLN was mainly expressed by tumor cells compared with stromal cells (56% vs 25%, respectively, P <.0001). CXCR4/CXCL12 may play roles in tumor progression in MLN and is associated with poor prognosis of lymph-node-positive NSCLC patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research