Pepsinogens are a class of endopeptidases that are secreted by the gastric epithelium and released into the circulation. Low serum pepsinogen I (PGI) and low serum pepsinogen I / pepsinogen II ratio (PGI/II ratio) are markers of gastric fundic atrophy, and have recently been shown to be associated with increased risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted the current study to test whether these markers are also associated with esophageal squamous dysplasia (ESD), the precursor lesion of ESCC.
We measured serum PGI and PGII, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) assays, in 125 case subjects (patients with moderate or severe ESD) and 250 sex-matched control subjects (no ESD) selected from an endoscopic screening study in Linxian, China. We used conditional logistic regression models adjusted for age, smoking, and place of residence to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).
Serum PGI showed no statistically significant association with ESD, whether analyzed as a dichotomous, ordinal (quartiles), or continuous variable. Lower serum PGI/II ratio, however, showed a dose-response association with increased risk of ESD, with an adjusted OR (95% CI) of 2.12 (1.08 − 4.18), comparing the lowest versus the highest quartile. The association between lower serum PGI/II ratio and log OR of ESD was nearly linear, and the p-value for the continuous association was 0.03.
Lower serum PGI/II ratio was linearly associated with higher risk of ESD. This result is consistent with recent findings that gastric atrophy may increase the risk of ESCC.
Esophageal cancer; Squamous dysplasia; Pepsinogen; China
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association of multi-genotype polymorphisms with the stepwise progression of esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC) and the possibility of predicting those at higher risk.
A total of 1,004 subjects were recruited from Feicheng County, China, between Jan. 2004 and Dec. 2007 and examined by endoscopy for esophageal lesions. These subjects included 270 patients with basal cell hyperplasia (BCH), 262 patients with esophageal squamous cell dysplasia (ESCD), 226 patients with ESCC, and 246 controls with Lugol-voiding area but diagnosed as having normal esophageal squamous epithelial cells by histopathology. The genotypes for CYP2E1 G1259C, hOGG1 C326G, MTHFR C677T, MPO G463A, and ALDH2 allele genes were identified in blood samples collected from all participants.
The alleles ALDH2 and MTHFR C677T were critical for determining individual susceptibility to esophageal cancer. Compared to the ALDH 1*1 genotype, the ALDH 2*2 genotype was significantly associated with increased risks of BCH, ESCD, and ESCC. However, the TT genotype of MTHFR C677T only increased the risk of ESCC. Further analysis revealed that the combination of the high-risk genotypes 2*2/1*2 of ALDH 2 and TT/TC of MTHFR C677T increased the risk of BCH by 4.0 fold, of ESCD by 3.7 fold, and ESSC by 8.72 fold. The generalized odds ratio (ORG) of the two combined genotypes was 1.83 (95%CI: 1.55-2.16), indicating a strong genetic association with the risk of carcinogenic progression in the esophagus.
The study demonstrated that the genotypes ALDH2*2 and MTHFR 677TT conferred elevated risk for developing esophageal carcinoma and that the two susceptibility genotypes combined to synergistically increase the risk.
The etiology of esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC) in high prevalence regions of China remains unclear.
Endoscopic biopsies were conducted among 7381 inhabitants aged from 25 to 65 of Anyang, China.
In this study, 2.57, 0.20 and 0.16% of the participants had mild, moderate and severe squamous dysplasia, respectively; 0.19 and 0.08% showed squamous carcinoma in situ and invasive ESCC. Using deep well (depth >100 meters) as water source (odds ratio=0.72, 95% confidence interval: 0.54–0.96) was negatively associated with ESCC and its precursors, whereas tobacco and alcohol use were not significantly associated with ESCC.
Water source and other factors in this region need further evaluation by longitudinal studies.
prevalence; risk factor; esophageal cancer; precursor lesion; China
Iodine concentrates in gastric tissue and may act as an antioxidant for the stomach. We previously showed that self-reported goiter was associated with significantly increased risk of gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma (GNCA) and non-significantly increased risks of gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in a prospective case-cohort study in a high-risk population in China. Negatively correlated with iodine levels, serum thyroglobulin (Tg) is a more sensitive biomarker of iodine deficiency than goiter. This study aimed to determine whether baseline serum Tg was also associated with development of GNCA, GCA, and ESCC in the same cohort, the Linxian General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial. Sera from approximately 200 subjects of each case type and 400 non-cases were tested for serum Tg concentration using appropriate assays. Tg was modeled as sex- and assay-specific quartiles in Cox regression models adjusted for age, smoking, alcohol, Helicobacter pylori status, pepsinogens I/II ratio, family history, and commune of residence. In the final combined analysis, participants in the highest quartile of serum Tg, compared to those in the lowest quartile, had adjusted Hazard Ratios of 0.88 (95% confidence interval 0.50–1.52), 1.14 (0.63–2.05), and 0.78 (0.47–1.31) for GNCA, GCA, and ESCC, respectively. Using serum Tg, a sensitive biomarker of iodine deficiency, we found no association between serum Tg concentrations and risk of these upper gastrointestinal (UGI) cancers in the study population. Our results do not support the hypothesis that iodine deficiency, as assessed by serum Tg, is associated with an increased risk of UGI cancers.
iodine deficiency; esophageal cancer; gastric cancer; thyroglobulin; China
Identifying people at higher risk of having squamous dysplasia, the precursor lesion for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), would allow targeted endoscopic screening.
We used multivariate logistic regression models to predict ESCC and dysplasia as outcomes. The ESCC model was based on data from the Golestan Case-Control Study (total n=871; cases=300), and the dysplasia model was based on data from a cohort of subjects from a GI clinic in Northeast Iran (total n=724; cases=26). In each of these analyses, we fit a model including all risk factors known in this region to be associated with ESCC. Individual risks were calculated using the linear combination of estimated regression coefficients and individual-specific values for covariates. We used cross-validation to determine the area under the curve (AUC) and to find the optimal cut points for each of the models.
The model had an area under the curve of 0.77 (95% CI: 0.74–0.80) to predict ESCC with 74% sensitivity and 70.4% specificity for the optimum cut point. The area under the curve was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.64–0.79) for dysplasia diagnosis, and the classification table optimized at 61.5% sensitivity and 69.5% specificity. In this population, the positive and negative predictive values for diagnosis of dysplasia were 6.8% and 97.8%, respectively.
Our models were able to discriminate between ESCC cases and controls in about 77%, and between individuals with and without squamous dysplasia in about 70% of the cases. Using risk factors to predict individual risk of ESCC or squamous dysplasia still has limited application in clinical practice, but such models may be suitable for selecting high risk individuals in research studies, or increasing the pretest probability for other screening strategies.
The incidence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is very high in northern China. This cancer has a very poor prognosis, mostly because it is usually diagnosed at a late stage. Detection an earlier stage can dramatically improve prognosis. Microscopic evaluation of esophageal balloon cytology (EBC) specimens has been the most common method for early detection of ESCC, but this technique is limited by low sensitivity and specificity. The use of molecular markers may improve these screening characteristics. This study evaluates whether measurement of gene methylation in EBC specimens may have utility for the detection of esophageal squamous dysplasia and early ESCC. We evaluated the presence of methylation in eight genes shown to be methylated in ESCC in previous studies in EBC specimens from 147 patients with endoscopic biopsy diagnoses ranging from normal mucosa through severe squamous dysplasia. Methylation status was determined using quantitative methylation-specific PCR techniques. The sensitivity and specificity of methylation of each individual gene and combinations of these genes to detect biopsy-proven high-grade (moderate or severe) squamous dysplasia was determined. For individual genes, the sensitivities ranged from 9–34% and the specificities ranged from 77–99%. Using a panel of four genes (AHRR, p16INK4a, MT1G, and CLDN3) resulted in sensitivity and specificity of 50% and 68%, respectively. This study suggests that evaluation of gene methylation in EBC samples may have utility for early detection of esophageal squamous dysplasia and early ESCC, however, identification of more sensitive methylation markers will be required for development of a clinically useful screening test.
gene methylation; early detection; cytology; esophageal squamous cell cancer
Continuous exposure to various environmental carcinogens and genetic polymorphisms of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes (XME) are associated with many types of human cancers, including esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Huaian, China, is one of the endemic regions of ESCC, but fewer studies have been done in characterizing the risk factors of ESCC in this area. The aims of this study is to evaluate the etiological roles of demographic parameters, environmental and food-borne carcinogens exposure, and XME polymorphisms in formation of ESCC, and to investigate possible gene-gene and gene-environment interactions associated with ESCC in Huaian, China.
A population based case-control study was conducted in 107 ESCC newly diagnosed cases and 107 residency- age-, and sex-matched controls in 5 townships of Huaian. In addition to regular epidemiological and food frequency questionnaire analyses, genetic polymorphisms of phase I enzymes CYP1A1, CYP1B1, CYP2A6, and CYP2E1, and phase II enzymes GSTM1, GSTT1, GSTP1, and microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX) were assessed from genomic DNA using PCR based techniques.
Consuming acrid food, fatty meat, moldy food, salted and pickled vegetables, eating fast, introverted personality, passive smoking, a family history of cancer, esophageal lesion, and infection with Helicobacter pylori were significant risk factors for ESCC (P < 0.05). Regular clean up of food storage utensils, green tea consumption, and alcohol abstinence were protective factors for ESCC (P < 0.01). The frequency of the GSTT1 null genotype was higher in cases (59.4%) compared to controls (47.2%) with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.68 and 95% confidence interval (CI) from 0.96 to 2.97 (P = 0.07), especially in males (OR = 2.78; 95% CI = 1.22–6.25; P = 0.01). No associations were found between polymorphisms of CYP1A1, CYP1B1, CYP2A6, CYP2E1, GSTM1, GSTP1, and EPHX and ESCC (P > 0.05).
Our results demonstrated that dietary and environmental exposures, some demographic parameters and genetic polymorphism of GSTT1 may play important roles in the development of ESCC in Huaian area, China.
We investigated the association of dietary α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, and supplemental vitamin E intake with the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC; n = 158), esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC; n = 382), gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA; n = 320), and gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma (GNCA; n = 327) in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a cohort of approximately 500,000 people. Data on dietary and supplemental vitamin E intake were collected using a validated questionnaire at baseline and were analyzed using Cox regression models. Intakes were analyzed as continuous variables and as quartiles.
For dietary α-tocopherol, we found some evidence of association with decreased ESCC and increased EAC risk in the continuous analyses, with adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of 0.90 (0.81 – 0.99) and 1.05 (1.00 – 1.11), respectively, per 1.17 mg (half the interquartile range) increased intake. However, in quartile analyses, the p-value for trend was non-significant for both of these cancers. There was no association between dietary α-tocopherol and GCA or GNCA. We observed no statistically significant associations with γ-tocopherol. For supplemental vitamin E, the results were mainly null, except for a significantly lower risk of GNCA with higher doses of supplemental vitamin E. An increase of 71 mg/day (half the interquartile range) in supplemental vitamin E had an HR (95% CI) of 0.92 (0.85–1.00) and the p-value for trend in the quartile analyses was 0.015.
Background: Oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a common cancer worldwide and has a very high mortality rate. Squamous dysplasia is the precursor lesion for OSCC and it can be seen during routine endoscopy with Lugol’s iodine staining. We aimed to examine the risk factors for squamous dysplasia and determine if a risk model could be constructed which would be useful in selecting apparently healthy subjects for endoscopic screening in a high risk population in Linzhou, People’s Republic of China.
Subjects and methods: In this cross sectional study, 724 adult volunteers aged 40–65 years were enrolled. All subjects completed a questionnaire regarding potential environmental exposures, received physical and dental examinations, and underwent upper endoscopy with Lugol’s iodine staining and biopsy. Subjects were categorised as having or not having histologically proven squamous dysplasia/early cancer. Risk factors for dysplasia were examined using univariate and multivariate logistic regression. The utility of the final multivariate model as a screening tool was assessed using a receiver operating characteristics curve.
Results: We found that 230 of 720 subjects (32%) with complete data had prevalent squamous dysplasia. In the final multivariate model, more household members (odds ratio (OR) 1.12/member (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.99, 1.25)), a family history of cancer (OR 1.57 (95% CI 1.13-2.18)), higher systolic blood pressure OR 1.11/10 mm Hg (95% CI 1.03-1.19)), heating the home without a chimney (OR 2.22 (95% CI 1.27–3.86)), and having lost more but not all of your teeth (OR 1.91 for 12–31 teeth lost (95% CI 1.17–3.15)) were associated with higher odds of having dysplasia. Higher household income (OR 0.96/100 RMB (95% CI 0.91–1.00)) was associated with a lower odds of having dysplasia. Although we found several statistically significant associations, the final model had little ability to accurately predict dysplasia status, with maximum simultaneous sensitivity and specificity values of 57% and 54%, respectively.
Conclusions: We found that risk factors for dysplasia were similar to those previously identified as risk factors for OSCC in this population. The final model did a poor job of identifying subjects who had squamous dysplasia. Other methods will need to be developed to triage individuals to endoscopy in this high risk population.
oesophageal cancer; dysplasia; tooth loss; cancer screening; China
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure is a risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and PAHs are ligands of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). This study measured the expression of AhR and related genes in frozen esophageal cell samples from patients exposed to different levels of indoor air pollution, who did or did not have high-grade squamous dysplasia (HGD), and who did or did not have a family history (FH) of upper gastrointestinal cancer (UGI Ca).
147 samples were evaluated, including 23 (16%) from patients with HGD and 48 (33%) from patients without DYS who heated their homes with coal, without a chimney (a “high” indoor air pollution group), and 27 (18%) from patients with HGD and 49 (33%) from patients without DYS who did not heat their homes at all (a “low” indoor air pollution group). Nearly half (64 (44%)) had a FH of UGI Ca. RNA was extracted and Quantitative-PCR analysis was performed.
AhR gene expression was detectable in 85 (58%) of the samples, and was more than 9-fold higher in those with a FH of UGI Ca (median expression (IQR) -1964 (-18000, -610) versus -18000 (-18000, -1036) Wilcoxon P = 0.02). Heating status, dysplasia category, age, gender, and smoking were not associated with AhR expression (linear regression, all P-values ≥0.1).
AhR expression was higher in patients with a FH of UGI Ca. Such individuals may be more susceptible to the deleterious effects of PAH exposure, including PAH-induced cancer.
Gastrointestinal tract cancer; Esophagus; Aryl hydrocarbon receptor; family history of cancer; gene expression; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
We prospectively examined the relation between pretrial serum vitamin D status and risk of oesophageal and gastric cancers among subjects who developed cancer over 5.25 years of follow-up, including 545 oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC), 353 gastric cardia adenocarcinomas, 81 gastric noncardia adenocarcinomas, and an age- and sex-stratified random sample of 1105 subjects. The distribution of serum 25(OH)D was calculated using the known sampling weights. For the cohort as a whole, the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile concentrations of 25(OH)-vitamin D were 19.6, 31.9, and 48.7 nmol l−1, respectively, and we found that higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with monotonically increasing risk of ESCC in men, but not in women. Comparing men in the fourth quartile of serum 25(OH)D concentrations to those in the first, we found a hazard ratio (HR) (95% confidence interval (CI)) of 1.77 (1.16–2.70), P trend=0.0033. The same comparison in women had a HR (95% CI) of 1.06 (0.71–1.59), P trend=0.70. We found no associations for gastric cardia or noncardia adenocarcinoma. Among subjects with low vitamin D status, higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with significantly increased risk of ESCC in men, but not in women. Further refinements of the analysis did not suggest any factors, which could explain this unexpected result.
vitamin D; oesophageal cancer; gastric cancer; cohort study; China
Objective: Biomarker assay is a noninvasive method for the early detection of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Searching for new biomarkers with high specificity and sensitivity is very important for the early detection of ESCC. Serum surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS) is a high throughput technology for identifying cancer biomarkers using drops of sera. Methods: In this study, 185 serum samples were taken from ESCC patients in a high incidence area and screened by SELDI. A support vector machine (SVM) algorithm was adopted to analyze the samples. Results: The SVM patterns successfully distinguished ESCC from pre-cancerous lesions (PCLs). Also, types of PCL, including dysplasia (DYS) and basal cell hyperplasia (BCH), and healthy controls (HC) were distinguished with an accuracy of 95.2% (DYS), 96.6% (BCH), and 93.8% (HC), respectively. A marker of 25.1 kDa was identified in the ESCC patterns whose peak intensity was observed to increase significantly during the development of esophageal carcinogenesis, and to decrease obviously after surgery. Conclusions: We selected five ESCC biomarkers to form a diagnostic pattern which can discriminate among the different stages of esophageal carcinogenesis. This pattern can significantly improve the detection of ESCC.
Biomarker; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization; Support vector machine
AIM: To study the association between atrophic gastritis (AG) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in a Latin-America population.
METHODS: A case-control study was performed at two reference Brazilian hospitals including patients diagnosed with advanced ESCC and dyspeptic patients who had been subjected to upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, with biopsies of the gastric antrum and body. All cases with ESCC were reviewed by a single pathologist, who applied standard criteria for the diagnosis of mucosal atrophy, intestinal metaplasia, and dysplasia, all classified as AG. The data on the patients’ age, sex, smoking status, and alcohol consumption were collected from clinical records, and any missing information was completed by telephone interview. The association between AG and ESCC was assessed by means of univariate and multiple conditional logistic regressions.
RESULTS: Most patients were male, and the median age was 59 years (range: 37-79 years) in both the ESCC and control groups. Univariate analysis showed that an intake of ethanol greater than 32 g/d was an independent risk factor that increased the odds of ESCC 7.57 times (P = 0.014); upon multiple analysis, alcohol intake of ethanol greater than 32 g/d exhibited a risk of 4.54 (P = 0.081), as adjusted for AG and smoking. Smoking was shown to be an independent risk factor that increased the odds of ESCC 14.55 times (P = 0.011) for individuals who smoked 0 to 51 packs/year and 21.40 times (P = 0.006) for those who smoked more than 51 packs/year. Upon multiple analyses, those who smoked up to 51 packs/year exhibited a risk of 7.85 (P = 0.058), and those who smoked more than 51 packs/ year had a risk 11.57 times higher (P = 0.04), as adjusted for AG and alcohol consumption. AG proved to be a risk factor that increased the odds of ESCC 5.33 times (95%CI: 1.55-18.30, P = 0.008) according to the results of univariate conditional logistic regression.
CONCLUSION: There was an association by univariate conditional logistic regression between AG and ECSS in this sample of Latin-American population.
Atrophic gastritis; Esophagus; Squamous cell carcinoma; Risk factor; Alcohol; Tobacco
Previous studies have shown important effects of stromal elements in carcinogenesis. To explore the tumor-stromal relationship in esophageal neoplasia, we examined methylation of COX-2 (PTGS2), a gene etiologically associated with the development of gastrointestinal cancers, in adjacent foci of epithelium, subepithelial lymphocytes and non-lymphocytic stromal cells found in sections of normal squamous epithelium, squamous dysplasia and invasive esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Adjacent foci of epithelium, subepithelial lymphocytic aggregates and non-lymphocytic stromal tissues were laser microdissected from six fully embedded, ethanol fixed, esophagectomy samples from Shanxi, China, a high-risk region for esophageal cancer. Promoter CpG site-specific hypermethylation status of COX-2 was determined using real-time methylation specific PCR (qMS-PCR) based on Taqman Chemistry. The methylation status of a subset of samples was confirmed by pyrosequencing.
Forty-nine microdissected foci were analyzed. COX-2 gene methylation was significantly more common in subepithelial lymphocytes (12/16 (75% of all foci)) than in epithelial foci (3/16 (19%)) or foci of non-lymphocytic stromal tissues (3/17 (18%)) (Fisher’s Exact p=0.05). Two of three epithelial samples and all three stromal samples that showed COX-2 methylation were adjacent to foci of methylated subepithelial lymphocytes. Pyrosequencing confirmed the methylation status in a subset of samples.
In these esopohageal cancer patients, COX-2 gene methylation was more common in subepithelial lymphocytes than in adjacent epithelial or stromal cells in both grades of dysplasia and in foci of invasive cancer. These findings raise the possibility that methylation of subepithelial lymphocytes may be important for tumorigenesis. Future studies of gene methylation should consider separate evaluation of epithelial and non-epithelial cell populations.
COX2 (PTGS2) gene methylation increases with disease severity and is more common in subepithelial lymphocytes than in adjacent epithelial or stromal cells in dysplastic and early invasive esophageal squamous cell cancer foci.
esophagus; neoplasms; cancer; cyclooxgenase-2; precancerous conditions; methylation; lymphocytes; squamous cell cancer
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a major risk factor for the development of nearly all cases of cervical cancer worldwide. The presence of HPV DNA in cases of esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (ESCC) has been reported repeatedly from Shantou, China, and other regions with a high incidence of esophageal carcinoma (EC). However, unlike in cervical squamous-cell carcinoma (CSCC), in ESCC, the characteristics of HPV are unclear. Thus, the role of high-risk HPV types in the carcinogenesis of ESCC remains uncertain.
Seventy cases of ESCC with 60 controls and 39 cases of CSCC with 54 controls collected from patients in Shantou region in China were compared for the distributions of HPV-16, -18 and -58; viral load; and viral integration using real-time PCR assay and HPV-16 expression using immunostaining.
The detection rates and viral loads of HR-HPV infection were significantly lower in ESCC than in CSCC (50.0% vs. 79.48%, P = 0.005; 2.55 ± 3.19 vs. 361.29 ± 441.75, P = 0.002, respectively). The combined integration level of HPV-16, -18 and -58 was slightly lower in ESCC than in CSCC (P = 0.022). HPV-16 expression was detected in 59.26% of ESCC tissue and significantly associated with tumour grade (P = 0.027).
High levels of HR-HPV expression and integration may be an indicator of the risk of ESCC, at least for patients in the Shantou region of China. However, a relatively low HPV copy number and infection rate in ESCC is unlikely to play an essential a role in the carcinogenesis of ESCC as in cervical cancer. Factors other than HR-HPV infection may contribute to the carcinogenesis of ESCC.
Nutritional evaluation is important for patients with esophageal cancer, but the impact of undernutrition on outcome of those patients is not well elucidated. Our aim is to assess the impact of baseline nutritional status on overall survival (OS) in Chinese patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and to detect a most appropriate indicator for nutritional evaluation.
502 patients from Southern China diagnosed as ESCC in Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center were included. A series of nutritional indicators were introduced to evaluate the baseline nutritional status. Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the 5-year OS and the log-rank test was used to determine the survival differences. Cox proportional hazards model was used in the univariate and multivariate analyses of OS.
With a median follow up time of 30 months, the median OS for the entire patient group was 37.3 months with the 5-year OS rate of 43.0%. Only performance status, AJCC 6th stage and body mass index (BMI) were the independent prognostic factors in multivariate analysis of OS. The median OS for patients with BMI less than 18.5, patients with BMI within 18.5-24.9 and patients with BMI more than 24.9 were 19.2, 43.2 and 51.6 months, respectively, with the 5-year OS rates of 25.2%, 46.1% and 48.1% (P<0.001). Patients with BMI <18.5 tended to present with a more advanced stage disease and a poorer tumor grade.
Baseline nutritional status is predictive of OS in Chinese patients with ESCC. BMI is a steady indicator for nutritional evaluation and a sensitive prognostic parameter for ESCC patients. Treatment optimization in ESCC patients with low BMI should integrate the modalities and individual nutritional support.
Nutritional parameters; body mass index (BMI); prognostic value; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
The aberrant DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes is well documented in esophageal cancer, including adenocarcinoma (EAC) and squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) as well as in Barrett's esophagus (BE), a pre-malignant condition that is associated with chronic acid reflux. BE is a well-recognized risk factor for the development of EAC, and consequently the standard of care is for individuals with BE to be placed in endoscopic surveillance programs aimed at detecting early histologic changes that associate with an increased risk of developing EAC. Yet because the absolute risk of EAC in individuals with BE is minimal, a clinical need in the management of BE is the identification of additional risk markers that will indicate individuals who are at a significant absolute risk of EAC so that they may be subjected to more intensive surveillance. The best currently available risk marker is the degree of dysplasia in endoscopic biopsies from the esophagus; however, this marker is suboptimal for a variety of reasons. To date, there are no molecular biomarkers that have been translated to widespread clinical practice. The search for biomarkers, including hypermethylated genes, for either the diagnosis of BE, EAC, or ESCC or for risk stratification for the development of EAC in those with BE is currently an area of active research. In this review, we summarize the status of identified candidate epigenetic biomarkers for BE, EAC, and ESCC. Most of these aberrantly methylated genes have been described in the context of early detection or diagnostic markers; others might prove useful for estimating prognosis or predicting response to treatment. Finally, special attention will be paid to some of the challenges that must be overcome in order to develop clinically useful esophageal cancer biomarkers.
DNA methylation; biomarker; Barrett's esophagus; esophageal adenocarcinoma; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
The authors investigated the relationship between hot tea, iced tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks consumption and upper gastrointestinal tract cancers risk in the NIH-AARP Study. During 2,584,953 person-years of follow-up on 481,563 subjects, 392 oral cavity, 178 pharynx, 307 larynx, 231 gastric cardia, 224 gastric noncardia cancer, 123 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and 305 esophageal adenocarcinoma (EADC) cases were accrued. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% Confidence Intervals (95%CIs) were calculated by multivariate-adjusted Cox regression. Compared to non-drinking, the hazard ratio for hot tea intake of ≥1 cup/day was 0.37 (95%CI: 0.20, 0.70) for pharyngeal cancer. The authors also observed a significant association between coffee drinking and risk of gastric cardia cancer (compared to <1 cup/day, the hazard ratio for drinking >3 cups/day was 1.57 (95%CI: 1.03, 2.39)), and an inverse association between coffee drinking and EADC for the cases occurring in the last three years of follow-up (compared to <1 cup/day, the hazard ratio for drinking >3 cups/day was 0.54 (95%CI: 0.31, 0.92)), but no association in earlier follow-up. In summary, hot tea intake was inversely associated with pharyngeal cancer, and coffee was directly associated with gastric cardia cancer, but was inversely associated with EADC during some follow-up periods.
tea; coffee; carbonated beverages; upper gastrointestinal tract; cancer
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a premalignant condition with an increased risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Risk factors for EAC overlap with those for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), but ESCC is surprisingly rare in BE. We report two cases of ESCC directly surrounded by BE. Both patients had a previous medical history of cancers, i.e., head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, and were using alcohol and smoking tobacco. Using immunohistochemistry for p63, CK5, CK7, and CDX2, it was confirmed that these carcinomas were pure squamous cell carcinomas, and not EACs or esophageal adenosquamous carcinomas arising from BE. Using TP53 mutation and loss of heterozygosity analysis, we established that the ESCCs in BE were not metastases of the previously diagnosed head and neck squamous cell carcinomas but de novo primary ESCCs. This study shows the strength of molecular analysis as an adjunct to the histopathologic diagnosis for distinguishing between metastases of prior cancers and primary cancers. Furthermore, these cases imply that presence of BE is not protective with regards to developing ESCC in the lower one third of the esophagus. We suggest that their ESCCs arose from islets of squamous epithelium in BE.
adenocarcinoma; Barrett’s esophagus; squamous cell carcinoma
Cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Cysteine, known to be involved in a myriad of immuno-modulatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-carcinogenic pathways, has not been investigated in the aetiology of oesophageal or gastric cancers. To examine the relationship between serum cysteine concentration and risk of these cancers we conducted a nested case-cohort study within the General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial in Linxian, China.
498 oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) and 255 gastric cardia adenocarcinomas (GCA) were matched by age and sex to 947 individuals from the wider cohort. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) using the case-cohort estimator for the Cox proportional hazards models, stratified on age and sex, with adjustment for potential confounders.
Higher concentrations of serum cysteine were significantly associated with a lower risk of both OSCC and GCA. For those in the highest quartile of serum cysteine, compared to those in the lowest, the multivariate HRs were 0.70 for OSCC (95% CI: 0.51, 0.98) and 0.59 for GCA (95% CI: 0.38, 0.91). These associations were dose dependent (P for trend = 0.006 and 0.008, respectively). These inverse associations were not significantly modified by other risk factors, with the exception of age, where a stronger association was noted among persons in the older age strata.
Higher serum concentrations of cysteine were associated with a significantly reduced risk of OSCC and GCA. Cysteine should be further investigated for its potential as a chemopreventive agent for upper gastrointestinal cancers.
oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma; gastric cardia cancer; hazard ratio; cysteine
Several studies have suggested that fascin, cytokeratin 14 and cytokeratin 4 may have significant roles as biomarkers for the progression and survival of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
This study performed immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays, profiling premalignant lesions and invasive tumors.
Fascin increased across the following states as follows: normal epithelium (26%) to dysplasia (46%) to ESCC (68%), while CK4 was undetectable in ESCC (0%) compared to normal epithelium (45%) or dysplasia (41%). CK14 was elevated and invariant in expression. In regression analyses, compared to normal epithelium, higher fascin expression was associated with a 36% increased risk of dysplasia (odds ratio=1.36) and a 56% increased risk of invasive ESCC (odds ratio=1.56).
Expression of fascin is up-regulated in the transformation from normal epithelium, through dysplasia, into invasive carcinoma. Expression of CK4, CK14 and fascin did not correlate with patient survival. Fascin has a potential role as an early detection biomarker and CK4 as a tumor marker in ESCC.
AIM: To evaluate the diagnostic values of serum autoantibodies against matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
METHODS: The MMP-7 cDNA was cloned from ESCC tissues, and MMP-7 was expressed and purified from a prokaryotic system. MMP-7 autoantibodies were then measured in sera from 50 patients with primary ESCC and 58 risk-matched controls, using a reverse capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in which autoantibodies to MMP-7 bound to the purified MMP-7 proteins. In addition, MMP-7 autoantibody levels in sera from 38 gastric cancer patients and from control serum samples were also tested.
RESULTS: The optimum conditions for recombinant MMP-7 protein expression were determined as 0.04 mmol/L Isopropyl-β-D-Thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) induction at 37°C for four hours. The levels of serum autoantibodies against MMP-7 were significantly higher in patients with ESCC than in the matched-control samples (OD450 = 1.69 ± 0.08 vs OD450 = 1.55 ± 0.10, P < 0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.87. The sensitivity and specificity for detection of ESCC were 78.0% and 81.0%, respectively, when the OD450 value was greater than 1.65. Although the levels of autoantibodies against MMP-7 were also significantly higher in patients with gastric cancer compared to control samples (OD450 = 1.62 ± 0.06 vs OD450 = 1.55 ± 0.10, P < 0.001), the diagnostic accuracy was less significant than in ESCC patients. The area of ROC curve was 0.75, whereas the sensitivity and specificity were 60.5% and 71.7%, respectively, when the cut-off value of OD450 was set at 1.60.
CONCLUSION: Serum autoantibody levels of MMP-7 may be a good diagnostic biomarker for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Matrix metalloproteinase-7; Serum autoantibody; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Gastric cancer; Biomarker
Environmental factors-induced dysfunction of esophageal squamous epithelium, including genomic DNA impairment and apoptosis, play an important role in the pathogenesis of esophageal squamous cell cancer. DNA damage-induced 45α (GADD45α) has been found promoting DNA repair and removing methylation marker, Therefore, in this study we will investigate whether GADD45α expression is induced and its mechanism in esophageal squamous cell cancer.
Two human esophageal squamous cell lines (ESCC), ECA109 and KYSE510 were cultured in RPMI-1640 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Lipofectamine 2000 was used to transfect cells. mRNA level of GADD45α was measured by reverse transcription-quantitive PCR (RT-qPCR), protein level of GADD45α was detected by western blot and Immunohistochemistry. Global DNA methylation of tissue sample was measured using the Methylamp Global DNA Methylation Quantification Ultra kit (Epigentek Group) and promoter methylation was measured by bisulfite sequencing.
GADD45a mRNA and protein levels were increased significantly in tumor tissue than that in adjacent normal tissue. Hypomethylation of global genomic DNA and GADD45α promoter were found in ESCC. The cell sensitivity to Cisplatin DDP was decreased significantly in Eca109 and Kyse510 cells, in which GADD45α expression was down-regulated by RNA interference (RNAi). In addition, silence of GADD45a expression in ESCC cells inhibited proliferation and promoted apoptosis.
Overexpression of GADD45α gene is due to DNA hypomethylation in ESCC. GADD45α may be a protective factor in DDP chemotherapy for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Esophageal squamous cell cancer; GADD45α; DNA methylation; DNA damage
The objective of this study was to characterize the molecular events in the carcinogenesis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and to identify biomarkers for early detection of the disease. Matched precancerous and cancerous tissues resected from 34 esophageal cancer patients from Chongqing, southern China, were compared to evaluate the extent of loss of heterozygosity (LOH). Sixteen microsatellite markers on chromosome regions 3p, 4p, 5q, 8p, 9p, 9q, 11p, 13q and 17p were used for PCR-based LOH analysis. The overall frequency of LOH at the 16 microsatellite loci was significantly increased as the pathological status of the resection specimens changed from low-grade dysplasia (LGD) to high-grade dysplasia (HGD) and SCC (P<0.001). A total of 8 markers showed LOH in the LGD samples. In addition, heterozygosity was regained at 4 loci in the SCC samples of 4 patients, respectively, in comparison to the results for these loci in the HGD samples. The overall rate of LOH increased significantly with the deterioration of the lesions, indicating that tumorigenesis of the esophageal squamous epithelia is a progressive process involving accumulative changes in LOH. The 8 loci showing allelic loss in the LGD samples may be involved in the early-stage tumorigenesis of ESCC, and LOH analysis at these loci may help improve the early detection of this disease. Regain of heterozygosity found in certain patients suggests the possibility of genetic heterogeneity in the tumori-genesis of esophageal cancer.
esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; microsatellite; loss of heterozygosity
To establish a relationship between esophageal squamous cell diseases and the expression of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and Eyes absent 4 (EYA4) mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Subjects were 50 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), 50 with dysplasia (ESCD), 50 with basal cell hyperplasia (BCH) and 50 controls. All subjects were residents of Feicheng County, Shandong Province, China , diagnosed by histopathology. Expression of hTERT and EYA4 mRNA in peripheral blood was determined by semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
The hTERT and EYA4 mRNA positive expression increased according to disease severity. At the cut-off value of ≥ 0.2, the positive expression rates of EYA4 were 14% for controls, 20.0% for BCH, 26% for ESCD and 52% for ESCC, respectively. At the cut-off value of ≥ 0.8, the positive expression rates of hTERT in the four groups were 24%, 30.0%, 52% and 80%, respectively. Using a positive value of 0.47 for EYA4, the testing sensitivities in the ESCD and ESCC groups were 4% and 16%, respectively, and the testing specificity increased to 100%. Using a positive value of 1.0 for hTERT, the testing sensitivities in the ESCD and ESCC groups were 48% and 60%, respectively, and the testing specificity increased to 72%. The testing sensitivities in the predicting ESCD and ESCC in the discriminant model including EYA4 and hTERT and the five traditional risk factors (sex, age, smoking, alcohol drinking, and family history of esophageal cancer) were 70% and 80%, and testing specificities were 76% and 88% respectively. However, the testing sensitivities and specificities in the predicting ESCD and ESCC in the model only including the above five traditional risk factors were lower than that in the former case.
EYA4 and hTERT mRNA expression increased with the severity of esophageal pathological changes and may be useful for identifying high-risk endoscopy candidates or for monitoring changes in premalignant esophageal lesions.