, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 5339-5345
Date: 16 Feb 2014

Clinical significance of the stem cell gene Oct-4 in cervical cancer

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This study aims to investigate the association between the expression of Oct-4 and the biological behavior or prognosis of cervical cancer. Serum-free suspension culture technology was used to select a suspension of microspheres that can stabilize clones. The tumorigenicity of the microsphere suspension was analyzed in NOD/SCID mice. Microarray analysis was used to detect the specific expression of genes in the microsphere suspension. The expression of Oct-4 was detected by immunohistochemistry, and the correlation between Oct-4 expression and clinical pathological prognostic indicators was analyzed in cervical cancer. The expression of the following genes was significantly different between the experimental and control groups: stem cell differentiation (CD44 and Oct-4), markers cell cycle regulators (APC), cell cycle regulators (MYC), and self-renewal markers (MYST2, NEUROG2, and SOX1). The expression of Oct-4 was significantly higher in cervical cancer tissues than in adjacent normal tissues and was significantly related to differentiation, clinical stage, and lymph node metastasis. The 5-year survival rate of patients with Oct-4-positive expression was lower than that of patients with Oct-4-negative expression (36.7 vs. 67.7 %, respectively; P = 0.001). Cox regression analysis revealed that clinical stage, lymph node metastasis, and Oct-4 were independent prognostic factors in cervical cancer (P = 0.031, 0.012, and 0.001, respectively). Our results showed that Oct-4 was highly expressed in cervical cancer stem cells; Oct-4 expression was associated with biological behavior and was an independent prognostic factor in cervical cancer. Therefore, it may represent a potential target for cervical cancer treatment.