Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 11099–11104 | Cite as

Reduced expression of polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma and its correlation with prognosis

  • Xuanchang Qi
  • Xuechang Li
  • Xiuxia Sun
Original Article


Polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) is a key component of the mucosal immune system that mediates epithelial transcytosis of immunoglobulins. The expression of pIgR was reported to be up-regulated and related to the prognosis of several human cancers. However, the clinical significance of pIgR in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to detect the pIgR expression and its prognostic value in NPC. The expression of serum pIgR was measured in NPC patients and healthy controls by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blotting analyses. The relationship between its expression and clinical factors was analyzed by chi-square test. Then, the overall survival of patients was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis while the prognostic value of serum pIgR was estimated using univariate and multivariate analyses with cox regression analysis. Serum pIgR was down-regulated in NPC patients compared to that in healthy controls both at messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels. Especially, its expression was also significantly lower in patients at advantage stages (III–IV) than those at early stages (I–II). And, the low pIgR expression was strongly associated with advanced clinical stages, T stage, N stage, and distant metastasis. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that patients with low pIgR expression had a significantly shorter overall survival than those with high expression at any stages. Cox regression analysis suggested that pIgR was closely related to the prognosis of NPC. Serum pIgR expression was reduced in NPC, and it could be an independent prognostic predictor for patients with this cancer.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma Polymeric immunoglobulin receptor Prognosis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Ethics, consent, and permissions

The study protocol was approved and supervised by the Ethics Committee of The Affiliated Hospital of Weifang Medical College, and written informed consent was obtained from each participant.

Consent to publish

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.




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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyThe Affiliated Hospital of Weifang Medical CollegeWeifangChina
  2. 2.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyWeifang People’s HospitalWeifangChina

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