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Highly Expressed Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) and Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor Receptor (G-CSFR) in Human Gastric Cancer Leads to Poor Survival

Zhisong Fan, Yong Li, Qun Zhao, Liqiao Fan, Bibo Tan, Jing Zuo, Kelei Hua, Qiang Ji

Department of Oncology, The Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:1701-1711

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909128

Available online:

Published: 2018-03-23

BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy for advanced gastric cancer (GC) patients has been the mainstay of therapy for many years. Although adding anti-angiogenic drugs to chemotherapy improves patient survival slightly, identifying anti-angiogenic therapy-sensitive patients remains challenging for oncologists. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) promotes tumor growth and angiogenesis, which can be minimized with the anti-G-CSF antibody. Thus, G-CSF might be a potential tumor marker. However, the effects of G-CSF and G-CSFR expression on GC patient survival remain unclear.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Seventy GC tissue samples were collected for G-CSF and G-CSFR detection by immunohistochemistry. A total of 40 paired GC tissues and matched adjacent mucosa were used to measure the G-CSF and G-CSFR levels by ELISA. Correlations between G-CSF/G-CSFR and clinical characteristics, VEGF-A levels and overall survival were analyzed. Biological function and underlying mechanistic investigations were carried out using SGC7901 cell lines, and the effects of G-CSF on tumor proliferation, migration, and tube formation were examined.
RESULTS: The levels of G-CSFR were upregulated in GC tissues compared to normal mucosa tissues. Higher G-CSF expression was associated with later tumor stages and higher tumor VEGF-A and serum CA724 levels, whereas higher G-CSFR expression was associated with lymph node metastasis. Patients with higher G-CSF expression had shorter overall survival times. In vitro, G-CSF stimulated SGC7901 proliferation and migration through the JAK2/STAT3 pathway and accelerated HUVEC tube formation.
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that increased G-CSF and G-CSFR in tumors leads to unfavorable outcomes for GC patients by stimulating tumor proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis, indicating that these factors are potential tumor targets for cancer treatment.

Keywords: Angiogenesis Inducing Agents, Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor, Receptors, Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor, Stomach Neoplasms, Survival, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A