Background This study examined the clinical significance of regenerating islet-derived family member 4 (REGIV) in surgically resected gastric tumors. The potential of REGIV as a biomarker in gastric cancer was also assessed including its predictive value for prognosis and recurrence after surgery. Methods Immunohistochemistry was performed to assess the clinical significance of REGIV expression status in surgically resected specimens. The quantitative genetic diagnostic method, transcription-reverse transcription concerted reaction (TRC) that targeted REGIV mRNA was applied for prediction of peritoneal recurrence in gastric cancer. Results Positive immunostaining for REGIV was observed in 85 cases (52.5%), and correlated significantly with diffuse type histopathology (P = 0.001), advanced T stage (P = 0.022), and frequent peritoneal recurrence (P = 0.009). Multivariate analysis identified advanced T stage (P < 0.001) and REGIV expression (P = 0.034) as independent prognostic factors for peritoneal recurrence-free survival. Overexpression of REGIV protein was evident in the majority of peritoneal tumors (93.8%). REGIV mRNA assessed by TRC could be a predictive marker for peritoneal recurrence after curative operation. Conclusions REGIV overexpression is common in primary gastric tumors and a potentially suitable marker of diffuse type histopathology and peritoneal dissemination. Overexpression of REGIV mRNA, assessed by the TRC method, is a potentially suitable marker of peritoneal recurrence after curative resection.
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