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A panel of overexpressed proteins for prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

[esophageal squamous cell carcinoma]

Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a common cancer with poor prognosis. In order to identify useful biomarkers for accurately classifying prognostic risks for ESCC patients, we examined the expression of six proteins by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 590 paraffin-embedded ESCC samples. The candidate proteins include p53, EGFR, c-KIT, TIMP1 and PI3K-p110α reported to be altered in ESCC tissues as well as another important component of PI3K, PI3K-p85α. Of the six proteins tested, p53, EGFR, c-KIT, TIMP1 and PI3K-p85α were detected with high expression in 43.0%, 36.6%, 55.9%, 70.7% and 57.1% of tumors, respectively. Significant associations were found between high expression of PI3K-p85α, EGFR and p53 and poor prognosis (P=0.00111; 0.00001; 0.00426). Applying these three proteins as an IHC panel could divide patients into different subgroups (P<0.000001). Multivariate cox regression analysis indicated that the three-protein panel was an independent prognostic factor with very high statistical significance (HR=2.090, 95% CI: 1.621-2.696, P=0.00000001). The data suggest that the three-protein panel of PI3K-p85α, EGFR and p53 is an important candidate biomarker for the prognosis of patients with ESCC.