Background/Aim: Sphingolipid metabolites are emerging as key signaling molecules in cancer. Sphingosine kinase 1 is up-regulated in many different types of human malignancies and plays a crucial role in cancer development and progression. The utility of sphingosine kinase 1 to act as a predictive biomarker in thyroid cancer remains unclear. Materials and Methods: Sphingosine kinase 1 expression was evaluated using immunohistochemical staining in 110 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded papillary thyroid carcinoma tissue samples. Results: Sphingosine kinase 1 expression in papillary thyroid carcinoma tissue was significantly higher than in nodular goiter (p<0.001) or normal thyroid (p<0.001) tissue. Sphingosine kinase 1 was observed in the cytoplasm of tumor cells. Thirty-four (30.9%) of 110 papillary thyroid carcinomas exhibited high sphingosine kinase 1 expression, that was significantly associated with tumor multiplicity (p=0.004), extrathyroidal extension (p=0.013), presence of lymph node metastasis (p<0.001), and number of metastatic lymph nodes (p=0.042). In addition, high sphingosine kinase 1 expression was the only independent predictor of lymph node metastasis (p<0.001). Conclusion: Sphingosine kinase 1 is involved in papillary thyroid carcinoma development and progression and can serve as a potential biomarker predictive of lymph node metastasis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2016R1D1A1B03935584).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research