Background: Peritoneal dissemination (PD) is one of the most common causes of cancer-related mortality in gastric cancer (GC). We aimed to identify PD-associated genes and investigate their role in GC. Materials and Methods: We identified FGFR1 as a putative PD-associated gene using a bioinformatics approach. The biological significance of FGFR1 in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was evaluated according to the correlation with genes that participated in EMT and FGFR1 knockdown experiments. The associations between FGFR1 expression and the clinicopathological features were examined. Results: FGFR1 expression positively correlated with SNAI1, VIM and ZEB1 expression, and negatively correlated with CDH1 expression. Knockdown of FGFR1 suppressed the malignant phenotype of GC cells. High FGFR1 expression significantly correlated with the peritoneal lavage cytology and synchronous PD positivity as well as poor prognosis. Conclusion: High FGFR1 expression was associated with PD via promotion of EMT and led to a poor prognosis of GC patients.
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