Tumour biology : the journal of the International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine

UCHL5 expression associates with improved survival in lymph-node-positive rectal cancer.

PMID 28681694


Colorectal cancer is among the three most common cancer types for both genders, with a rising global incidence. To date, prognostic evaluation is difficult and largely dependent on early detection and successful surgery. UCHL5/Uch37 is an integral part of the protein homeostasis network as one of the three deubiquitinating enzymes associated with the 26S proteasome. Here, we have investigated in colorectal cancer the possible association of UCHL5 tumor expression and patient survival. UCHL5 tumor expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 779 surgically treated colorectal cancer patients from Helsinki University Hospital, Finland, with assessment of clinicopathological parameters and the effect of UCHL5 expression on patient survival. High and undetectable UCHL5 expression both correlated with increased overall disease-specific survival in the subgroup of patients with lymph-node-positive (Dukes C/stage III) rectal cancer. Within this subgroup of 105 stage-III rectal cancer patients, none of the 7 with high UCHL5 expression died of colorectal cancer within 10 years after surgery ( p = 0.012). A similar, though less prominent, survival trend occurred throughout the whole patient cohort. In conclusion, UCHL5 is a promising novel prognostic marker in lymph-node-positive rectal cancer. Our results also advance the currently limited knowledge of biomarkers in colorectal cancer treatment.

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