Gastrointestinal Oncology

Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp 2721-2729

First online:

Expression of Human Leukocyte Antigen G (HLA-G) Correlates with Poor Prognosis in Gastric Carcinoma

  • Shang-mian YieAffiliated withChengdu Bioengineering Institute for Cancer ResearchCore Laboratory, Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences, Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital Email author 
  • , Hong YangAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital
  • , Shang-rong YeAffiliated withChengdu Bioengineering Institute for Cancer Research
  • , Ke LiAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital
  • , Dan-dan DongAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital
  • , Xin-mei LinAffiliated withChengdu Bioengineering Institute for Cancer Research

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We had previously demonstrated that human leukocyte antigen G (HLA-G) was expressed in a majority of primary colorectal carcinomas and that the detection of HLA-G expression had a strong and independent prognostic value for that cancer. Currently, we investigate whether or not HLA-G is also expressed in patients with gastric carcinoma and whether the expression has any clinical application value.


The expression of HLA-G was investigated immunohistochemically in 160 patients with gastric carcinoma. The correlation between HLA-G status and various clinicopathological parameters was analyzed with the levels of HLA-G expression used to compare the survival length amongst patients.


HLA-G protein expression was observed in 71% (113 of 160) of the primary site of gastric carcinomas, but not in the normal stomach tissues. HLA-G expression in the tumors was significantly correlated with the tumor location, histological grade, depth of invasion, lymph nodal metastasis, clinical stages of the disease, and host immune response (P = .012, .008, .001, .038, .030, and .016, respectively). Patients with HLA-G positive tumors had a significantly shorter survival time than those patients with tumors that were HLA-G negative (P = .001). As well, in multivariate analysis, HLA-G demonstrated an independent prognostic factor (P = .0001, relative risk 9.08; 95% confidence interval, 3.44–24.0).


Overall, our results indicated that the expression of HLA-G is a characteristic feature of gastric carcinoma and that immunostaining by anti-HLA-G antibody may be a potentially useful prognostic indicator.


Human leukocyte antigen G (HLA-G) Immunohistochemistry Gastric carcinoma Prognosis