Background: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are notorious for their capacity of tumor progression, metastasis or resistance to chemo-radiotherapy. However, the undisputed role of cancer stem marker, CD133, in colorectal cancers (CRCs) is not clear yet.Methods: We assessed 271 surgically-resected stage II and III primary CRCs with (171) and without (100) adjuvant therapy after surgery. CD133 expression was analyzed by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining and real-time RT-PCR. CD133 promoter methylation was quantified by pyrosequencing.Results: The CD133 IHC expression was significantly correlated with mRNA expression (p=0.0257) and inversely correlated with the promoter methylation (p=0.0001). CD133 was expressed more frequently in rectal cancer (p=0.0035), and in moderately differentiated tumors (p=0.0378). In survival analysis, CD133 expression was not significantly correlated with overall survival (OS) (p=0.9689) as well as disease-free survival (DFS) (p=0.2103). However, CD133+ tumors were significantly associated with better OS in patients with adjuvant therapy compared to those without adjuvant therapy (p<0.0001, HR 0.125, 95% CI 0.052-0.299). But the patients with CD133- tumors did not show any significant difference of survival according to adjuvant therapy (p=0.055, HR 0.500, 95% CI 0.247-1.015).Conclusions: In stage II and III CRCs, CD133 IHC expression may signify the benefit for adjuvant therapy although it is not an independent prognostic factor.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a research grant from Yonsei University, Wonju College of Medicine (YUWCM-2010-19).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research