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Biomarker Can Help Predict Oesophageal Patient Survival

Posted on: 11 Nov 2015

Biomarker Can Help Predict Oesophageal Patient Survival

(LC3B Biomarker correlates with Patient Outcome)



Oesophageal adenocarcinoma has the fastest growing incidence of any solid tumour in the Western world with prognosis remaining poor, with overall five-year survival rates under 25 %. Only a limited number of patients benefit from chemotherapy and to date there are no biomarkers that can predict outcome. Where previous studies have indicated that induction of autophagy can influence various aspects of tumour cell biology, including chemo-sensitivity the objective of Dr. El-Mashed’s study, published today in BMC Cancer was to assess whether expression of the autophagy marker (LC3B) could be correlated with patient outcome.



Dr. El-Mashed retrospectively examined Oesophageal adenocarcinoma tumour tissue from two independent sites with tumours from 104 neoadjuvant naïve patients and 48 patients post neoadjuvant therapy assembled into tissue microarrays prior to immunohistochemical analysis. The results were that a distinct globular pattern of LC3B expression was found to be predictive of outcome in both patient groups, irrespective of treatment. It was also found that this was a strong independent predictor of poor prognosis. The distinctive staining pattern of LC3B therefore represents a novel prognostic marker for resectable oesophageal adenocarcinoma.



Dr. El-Mashed study is the first analysis of autophagy markers in oesophageal adenocarcinoma and she has particularly identified, the LC3B globular structures in oesophageal adenocarcinoma patients are strongly associated with patient outcome irrespective of treatment. The results of her study are consistent with current published data on other cancers and suggest that LC3B may be a unique marker in predicting prognosis in oesophageal cancer. We would encourage more multi-centre retrospective and prospective studies, to further validate the prognostic significance of this marker.


LC3B globular structures correlate with survival in esophageal adenocarcinoma.

El-Mashed S, O'Donovan TR, Kay EW, Abdallah AR, Cathcart MC, O'Sullivan J, O'Grady A, Reynolds J, O'Reilly S, O'Sullivan GC, McKenna SL.

BMC Cancer. 2015 Aug 12;15:582. doi: 10.1186/s12885-015-1574-5.

PMID:26265176     Free PMC Article