Activin A is a member of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily. Activin A shows an extensive variety of biological activities, including mesoderm induction, bone remodeling, muscle atrophy. Activin A is also related to Smad 2/3 mediated cancer development and metastasis. The overexpression of Activin A has been reported in several types of cancers and high expression of Activin A leads to poor prognosis. We examined the relationship between tumor expression of Activin A and clinical outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer.


AACR Annual Meeting 2019

We analyzed the association between tumor expression of Activin A and clinicopathological features and patient’s prognosis in 157 primary colorectal cancers, which were curatively resected between 2008 and 2012. The expression level of Activin A was measured in tumor tissue by quantitative RT-PCR. Patients were categorized into the high or low groups based on median expression value of Activin A and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses were performed to display difference in overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS) between two groups. The between-group differences were assessed by the log-rank test and stepwise multivariate Cox regression analysis was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for OS.


RT-PCR analysis showed that expression of Activin A was significantly higher in tumor areas compared with that in normal (p<0.001). Activin A was highly expressed in the rectal cancer (p=0.015). Other clinicopathological factors were not significantly correlated with Activin A expression. Patients with Activin A high-expressed colorectal cancers showed a significantly shorter OS and RFS than those with activin A low-expressed tumor (5-year OS: Low 79.2% vs High 63.8%, p=0.037). High expression of Activin A is an independent predictor of poor prognosis in patients with colorectal cancers after curative surgery (Low vs High, HR=5.558, 95%CIs=2.229-15.17,

AACR Annual Meeting 2019



We concluded that high Activin A expression in tumor is associated with poor prognosis in colorectal patients.

Citation Format: Nobuya Daitoku, Yuji Miyamoto, Yuki Sakamoto, Kojiro Etoh, Yukiharu Hiyoshi, Yohei Nagai, Masaaki Iwatsuki, Takatsugu Ishimoto, Yoshifumi Baba, Shiro Iwagami, Naoya Yoshida, Hideo Baba. Tumor expression of Activin A is associated with clinical outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019; 2019 Mar 29-Apr 3; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2019;79(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 3154.