The CXCL12/CXCR4 pathway, which is involved in biological phenomena such as inflammation, lymphoid homing and regeneration, may play an important role in tumor progression and distant metastasis, especially in organ-selective metastasis. In addition, the CXCL12/CXCR4 pathway has been reported to regulate tumor angiogenesis. In this study, we examined the immunohistochemical expression of CXCR4 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. CXCR4 and VEGF mRNAs were also assessed by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Overexpression of CXCR4 and VEGF was observed in 41 (53.9%) and 30 (39.5%) of 76 tumors, respectively. There was a significant positive correlation between immunohistochemical CXCR4 and VEGF expression (p=0.0339). Additionally, immunohistochemical CXCR4 expression was associated with CXCR4 mRNA expression, and immunohistochemical VEGF expression was associated with VEGF mRNA expression (p=0.0040 and p=0.0476, respectively). Furthermore, patients with VEGF-positive tumors had a significantly worse prognosis than patients with VEGF-negative primary tumors (p=0.0044). Our findings suggest that the expression of CXCR4 and VEGF is associated with metastatic progression, and that VEGF expression is a valuable prognostic marker in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research