CD133 expression is not an independent prognostic factor in stage II and III colorectal cancer but may predict the better outcome in patients with adjuvant therapy

Khalilullah Mia-Jan, So Young Jung, Ikyong Kim, Sung Soo Oh, Eun Hee Choi, Sei Jin Chang, Tae Young Kang, Meeyon Cho

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14 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number166
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar 28


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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