Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England)

Expression of caspase-3 predicts prognosis in advanced noncardia gastric cancer.

PMID 25476481


There is strong evidence that tumor growth is not only a result of uncontrolled cell proliferation but also of decreased apoptosis. Caspase-3 is a member of interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme which is involved in the induction of apoptosis. Data on the expression of caspase-3 in patients with gastric cancer and its association with patient outcome are somewhat contradictory. We aimed to investigate the potential relation of the expression of caspase-3 protein with response to therapy and overall survival in patients with advanced noncardia gastric cancer. Tumor tissue samples collected from 359 consecutive patients with gastric cancer stage IV were retrospectively analyzed for the expression of caspase-3 in the primary tumor. The DNA apoptotic index assessed by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick end labeling method. All patients were followed up until death. Caspase-3 was expressed in 43.5 % of tumors. Caspase-3 expression compared to no expression was related with a higher DNA apoptotic index (p < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, tumor expression of caspase-3 was found to be an independent predictor of poor treatment response and survival (p < 0.05). Expression of caspase-3 in advanced gastric cancer is a predictor of poor response to treatment and survival. Further studies are needed to fully elucidate the prognostic value of caspase-3 expression in these patients.