Oncology letters

Expression of epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 may be a predictive marker of the effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for locally advanced uterine cervical cancer.

PMID 28105226


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) followed by hysterectomy may be effective for the treatment of locally advanced uterine cervical cancer and improve patient prognosis. It is important to identify markers that are able to predict whether NAC may be successful. Epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 (EGFL7) regulates vascular sprouting in blood vessel formation. In numerous types of human cancer, EGFL7 is upregulated and inhibits endothelial cell adhesion molecules, decreasing vascular tightness and, thus, increasing vascular permeability. It is considered that the overexpression of EGFL7 is able to inhibit drug delivery, resistance to apoptosis and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. In the current study, 63 patients with locally advanced uterine cervical cancer were reviewed and classified as stage IIIA-IIIB using the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics criteria. These patients (aged <70 years) were treated at Osaka City University Medical School Hospital, Japan, between 1995 and 2010. Tumor tissue samples were obtained by biopsy prior to NAC. The tissue samples were classified as group 1 or 2 depending on the efficacy of NAC. Surgery and radiotherapy were administered in group 1 (n=36), for which NAC was effective. In the patients of group 2 NAC was not effective, and radiotherapy alone was administered (n=27). The expression of EGFL7 and Snail was examined in paraffin-embedded tissue sample sections using the avidin-biotin peroxidase complex method. The results indicated that EGFL7 expression levels were significantly higher in group 2, as compared with group 1 (P<0.001). A similar result was observed for the expression levels of Snail (P=0.001). Group 1 exhibited significantly longer overall survival times compared with group 2 (P=0.001). The patients were also classified into a low EGFL7 expression level group (weighted score of ≤6) and a high EGFL7 expression level group (weighted score of ≥8). NAC was observed to be significantly more effective in the low EGFL7 expression level group (P<0.001), as compared with the high expression level group. The results suggest that the expression levels of EGFL7 may be a potential predictive marker of the efficacy of NAC for the treatment of locally advanced uterine cervical cancer.