There have been numerous articles as to whether the staining index (SI) of astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) adversely affects clinical progression and prognosis of gastrointestinal cancers. Nevertheless, controversy still exists in terms of correlations between AEG-1 SI and clinicopathological parameters including survival data. Consequently, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis to confirm the role of AEG-1 in clinical outcomes of gastrointestinal carcinoma patients.
We performed a comprehensive search in PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, Science Direct, Wiley Online Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), WanFang and Chinese VIP databases. STATA 12.0 (STATA Corp., College, TX) was used to analyze the data extracted from suitable studies and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was applied to assess the quality of included articles.
The current meta-analysis included 2999 patients and our results suggested that strong associations emerged between AEG-1 SI and histological differentiation (OR = 2.129, 95%CI: 1.377–3.290, P = 0.001), tumor (T) classification (OR = 2.272, 95%CI: 1.147–4.502, P = 0.019), lymph node (N) classification (OR = 2.696, 95%CI: 2.178–3.337, P<0.001) and metastasis (M) classification (OR = 3.731, 95%CI: 2.167–6.426, P<0.001). Furthermore, high AEG-1 SI was significantly associated with poor overall survival (OS) (HR = 2.369, 95%CI: 2.005–2.800, P<0.001) and deteriorated disease-free survival (DFS) (HR = 1.538, 95%CI: 1.171–2.020, P = 0.002). For disease-specific survival (DSS) and relapse-free survival (RFS), no statistically significant results were observed (HR = 1.573, 95%CI: 0.761–3.250, P = 0.222; HR = 1.432, 95%CI: 0.108–19.085, P = 0.786). Subgroup analysis demonstrated that high AEG-1 SI was significantly related to poor prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) (HR = 1.715, 95%CI: 1.211–2.410, P = 0.002), gastric carcinoma (GC) (HR = 2.255, 95%CI: 1.547–3.288, P<0.001), colorectal carcinoma (CRC) (HR = 2.922, 95%CI: 1.921–4.444, P<0.001), gallbladder carcinoma (GBC) (HR = 3.047, 95%CI: 1.685–5.509, P<0.001), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (HR = 2.245, 95%CI: 1.620–3.113, P<0.001), pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) (HR = 2.408, 95%CI: 1.625–3.568, P<0.001).
The current meta-analysis indicated that high AEG-1 SI might be associated with tumor progression and poor survival status in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. AEG-1 might play a vital role in promoting tumor aggression and could serve as a potential target for molecular treatments. Further clinical trials are needed to validate whether AEG-1 SI provides valuable insights into improving treatment decisions.