This study was designed to evaluate the expression of Musashi-1 protein and its implications in progression and prognosis of gastric cancer.
The expression of Musashi-1 protein in frozen gastric cancers and corresponding adjacent non-cancerous gastric mucosae was detected by using western blotting. The expression level of Musashi-1 protein in archived gastric cancers and non-cancerous gastric mucosae was assessed by performing an immunohistochemical staining (EnVision method) on the tissue microarray, and compared with the clinicopathological parameters of patients with gastric cancer.
The expression of Musashi-1 protein in frozen gastric cancers was significantly higher than in non-cancerous gastric mucosae (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference found in Musashi-1 protein expression between intestinal type and diffuse type gastric cancer (P > 0.05). Musashi-1 protein expression was found to be upregulated in 35.3% (154/436) of gastric cancers, significantly higher than in non-cancerous gastric mucosae, and was correlated to age, location, size, depth of invasion, TNM stage, Lauren's classification, vessel invasion, lymph node metastasis, and distant metastasis of tumor. As stratified by TNM stage, the mean survival time for patients with low Musashi-1 expression was significantly longer than that for patients with high Musashi-1 expression in each same TNM stage (P < 0.05). In particular, TNM II patients with low Musashi-1 expression have a longer mean survival time than TNM I patients with high Musashi-1 expression ( P = 0.001), and TNM III patients with low Musashi-1 expression have a longer mean survival time than TNM II patients with high Musashi-1 expression ( P = 0.034). Multivariate Cox regression showed that Musashi-1 protein expression was an independent prognosticator for the survival of the patients with gastric cancer.
Musashi-1 protein plays a critical role in the progression of gastric cancer. Detection of Musashi-1 protein expression alone or in combination with TNM staging is helpful to predict the prognosis of patients with gastric cancer, thereby contributing to personalized chemotherapy regimen.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.