Lactotransferrin could be a novel independent molecular prognosticator of nasopharyngeal carcinoma
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Lactotransferrin (LTF), also known as lactoferrin, is a key component of innate immune defense. We previously reported that LTF was downregulated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and could suppress NPC cell proliferation. However, the relevance of the relationship between LTF expression and NPC clinical outcome has not been reported. This study aims to assess the possible correlations between LTF expression and clinical parameters and its potential prognostic predictive ability in the outcomes of patients with NPC. Complementary DNA (cDNA) microarray, quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), and immunohistochemistry (IHC) results suggested that LTF expression was significantly downregulated in NPC tissues compared to non-NPC tissues. LTF was negatively correlated with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.042), T stage (P < 0.001), clinical tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage (P = 0.022), and EBV-encoded RNA 1 (EBER-1) expression (r = −.167, P = 0.016). A survival analysis of 108 patients with NPC revealed that positive expression of LTF could predict a good prognosis [disease-free survival (DFS): P = 0.043, overall survival (OS): P = 0.040]. Multivariable analysis revealed that LTF could independently predict prognosis (DFS: HR = 0.414, P = 0.003; OS: HR = 0.309, P = 0.005). These observations indicated that LTF is a potential prognostic factor of NPC.
KeywordsNasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) LTF Prognosis
Conflicts of interest
This work was supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 30871282, 81071644, 81172189, 81272298, 81372907, 81472531, and 91229122), the Hunan Province Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 14JJ1010 and 12JJ2044), and the Hunan Province Science and the Technology Foundation of China (Grant No. 2012FJ6073).
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