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BMC Cancer. 2012; 12: 131.
Published online Apr 2, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2407-12-131
PMCID: PMC3364873
Prognostic impact of mRNA levels of osteopontin splice variants in soft tissue sarcoma patients
Antje Hahnel,corresponding author#1 Henri Wichmann,#1 Thomas Greither,2 Matthias Kappler,3 Peter Würl,4 Matthias Kotzsch,5 Helge Taubert,3,6,7 Dirk Vordermark,1 and Matthias Bache1
1Department of Radiotherapy, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Dryanderstr.4, Halle (Saale) 06110, Germany
2Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Ernst-Grube-Str. 40, Halle (Saale) 06907, Germany
3Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Plastic Surgery, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Ernst-Grube-Str. 40, Halle (Saale) 06907, Germany
4Department of General and Visceral Surgery, Diakoniekrankenhaus, Advokatenweg 1, Halle (Saale) 06114, Germany
5Institute of Pathology, Dresden University of Technology, Fetscherstr.74, Dresden 01307, Germany
6Clinic of Urology, FA University Hospital Erlangen, Glückstr. 6, Erlangen 91054, Germany
7Nikolaus-Fiebiger-Center for Molecular Medicine, FA University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
#Contributed equally.
Antje Hahnel: antje.hahnel/at/medizin.uni-halle.de; Henri Wichmann: wichmann.henri/at/medizin.uni-halle.de; Thomas Greither: thomas.greither/at/medizin.uni-halle.de; Matthias Kappler: matthias.kappler/at/medizin.uni-halle.de; Peter Würl: familie.wuerl/at/googlemail.com; Matthias Kotzsch: matthias.kotzsch/at/uniklinikum-dresden.de; Helge Taubert: helge.taubert/at/uk-erlangen.de; Dirk Vordermark: dirk.vordermark/at/medizin.uni-halle.de; Matthias Bache: matthias.bache/at/medizin.uni-halle.de
Received December 19, 2011; Accepted April 2, 2012.
Abstract
Background
It is well known that osteopontin (OPN) plays an important role in tumor progression and that a high OPN expression level in several tumor entities correlates with poor prognosis in cancer patients. However, little is known about the prognostic relevance of the OPN mRNA splice variants.
Methods
We analyzed the mRNA expression levels of different OPN splice variants in tumor tissue of 124 soft tissue sarcoma (STS) patients. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to analyze the mRNA expression level of three OPN splice variants (OPN-a, -b and -c).
Results
The multivariate Cox's proportional hazard regression model revealed that high mRNA expression levels of OPN splice variants are significantly associated with poor prognosis in STS patients (n = 124). Women (n = 68) with high mRNA expression levels of OPN-a and OPN-b have an especially elevated risk of tumor-related death (OPN-a: RR = 3.0, P = 0.01, CI = 1.3-6.8; OPN-b: RR = 3.4, P = 0.01, CI = 1.4-8.2). In particular, we found that high mRNA expression levels of OPN-b and OPN-c correlated with a high risk of tumor-related death in STS patients that received radiotherapy (n = 52; OPN-b: RR = 10.3, P < 0.01, CI = 2.0-53.7; OPN-c: RR = 11.4, P < 0.01, CI = 2.2-59.3).
Conclusion
Our study shows that elevated mRNA expression levels of OPN splice variants are negative prognostic and predictive markers for STS patients. Further studies are needed to clarify the impact of the OPN splice variants on prognosis.
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