Gastric cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors. Although improvement in chemotherapy has been achieved, the clinical prognosis of advanced gastric cancer remains poor. Therefore, it is increasingly important to predict the prognosis and determine whether patients should or should not receive neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. Leucine-rich α2-glycoprotein-1 (LRG1) is overexpressed during inflammation and is associated with various malignancies. In this study, we assessed LRG1 expression in cancer specimens and in the sera of patients with cancer to clarify the usefulness of LRG1 as a biomarker in gastric cancer. This study enrolled 239 (for immunohistochemical staining; IHC) and 184 (for ELISA) patients with gastric cancer. Results of IHC showed that LRG1 expression was significantly associated with histological type, lymphatic and venous invasion, tumor and node factors, and disease stage. Overall survival was significantly worse in the high LRG1 expression group than in the low LRG1 group (P = 0.0003). Cox multivariate analysis of overall survival revealed that LRG1 expression was an independent prognostic factor (P = 0.0258). Serum LRG1 was significantly higher in gastric cancer patients than in healthy volunteers, and increased as the pathological stage progressed. Furthermore, a significant correlation was revealed between serum LRG1 level and LRG1 expression with IHC (P < 0.0001). Inhibition of LRG1 significantly decreased cell proliferation in vitro (migratory and invasive capacity of gastric cancer cells). These results suggest that LRG1 expression in tumors and serum may be a useful prognostic marker in gastric cancer patients.
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