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CXCR4 Sign of Poor Prognosis in Esophageal Cancer

Blockers of CXCR4 receptor may have potential as treatments for esophageal cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Expression of the chemokine and bone marrow-homing receptor CXCR4 is associated with lymph node and bone marrow micrometastasis and thus carries a poor prognosis in esophageal cancer, according to a study in the Dec. 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Frozen tumor specimens from 136 patients with completely resected esophageal tumors were analyzed for CXCR4 expression by Jussuf T. Kaifi, M.D., and others at the Universitaetsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany. Lymph node and bone marrow micrometastasis was assessed with immunohistochemistry.

CXCR4 expression was found in 55% of the 136 tumors. Median overall survival with CXCR4-positive tumors was 20 months, compared with 76 months in patients with CXCR4-negative tumors. Disease-specific survival was 25 months with CXCR4-positive tumors and 97 months with CXCR4-negative tumors.

The researchers note that a number of CXCR4 blockers have been developed and clinical trials are needed in patients with CXCR4-positive esophageal cancers.

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