Background: Chemokines are known to be small weight cytokines which regulate variety of immune responses. It is also known that they and their receptors express in several cancers and correlate to progression of primary and metastatic cancer. The chemokine CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 especially have been reported to play prominent role in proliferation, metastasis, and prognosis of several cancers, including breast, ovarian, kidney, prostate, brain, and lung cancers. However, reports about the relationship between CXCL12/CXCR4 expression and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) are rare. This retrospective study is to investigate the expression of CXCL12/CXCR4 and explore its correlation to prognosis and clinicopathological factors of ESCC. Methods: The relationship between CXCL12 and CXCR4 expression and clinicopathological factors including prognosis in surgical specimens of primary tumors in 77 patients with ESCC was investigated immunohistochemically. All patients had R0 or R1 resection without any preoperative treatment from 1997 to 2007. We evaluated the intensity of the stain in 3 grades (0: negative, 1: weak, 2: strong), and the proportion of stained cancer cells in 4 high power fields in 4 grades (0: 0∼10%, 1: 10∼40%, 2: 40∼70%, 3: 70∼100%). The CXCL12/CXCR4 expression score was defined as the product of the intensity score by proportion score, and the positive expression was defined as ESCC of which expression score is 1 or over. Results: The positive expression rate of CXCL12 was 77% and that of CXCR4 was 57%. The expression of CXCL12 and CXCR4 had no correlation. The disease free survival rate was significantly lower in patients with positive CXCL12 expression (p=0.037), and the overall survival rate was lower in Stage I/II patients with positive CXCL12 expression (p=0.50). The expression of CXCR4 had no correlation with clinicopathological variables and prognosis. Multivariable analysis showed that CXCL12 expression score was the independent risk factor for the recurrence of ESCC (p=0.013), as same as pathological N factor and venous invasion. Conclusion: This study indicated that positive CXCL12 expression was more related to the recurrence of ESCC, compared with CXCR4 expression. Evaluation of CXCL12 expression is useful for predicting prognosis in patients with ESCC.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 733. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-733