Combined detection of Twist1, Snail1 and squamous cell carcinoma antigen for the prognostic evaluation of invasion and metastasis in cervical squamous cell carcinoma
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Cervical cancer is one of the most common malignant tumours of the female reproductive system, ranking second only to breast cancer in morbidity worldwide. Essential features of the progression of cervical cancer are invasion and metastasis, which are closely related to disease prognosis and mortality rate. At the present time there is no effective method to evaluate cancer invasion and metastasis before surgery. Here we report our study on molecular changes in biopsy tissue for the prognostic evaluation of cancer invasion and metastasis.
Patients and methods
Expression of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition-inducing transcription factors Twist1 and Snail1 was detected by immunohistochemistry in 32 normal, 36 low-grade squamous intraepithelial neoplasia (LSIL), 54 high-grade squamous intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL) and 320 cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) samples. The correlation between the expression of Twist1, Snail1 and squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA) in CSCC tissues and clinical pathology results was evaluated. A transwell migration and invasion assay was used to explore the roles of Twist1 and Snail1 in the invasion of cancer cells. Lymph node metastasis and lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI) rates for the following groups were analysed: SCCA(+) group, Twist1(+) group, Snail1(+) group, Twist1(+)Snail1(+)group, Twist1(+)SCCA(+)group, Snail1(+)SCCA(+)group and Twist1(+)Snail1(+)SCCA(+) group.
The expression of Twist1 and Snail1 was significantly upregulated in HSIL and CSCC (p < 0.05). Twist1 and Snail1 expression levels were associated with LVSI, lymph node metastasis and histological grade (p < 0.05) but not with age or FIGO stage (p > 0.05). The expression of SCCA was associated with LVSI, lymph node metastasis, FIGO stage and histological grade (p < 0.05) but not with age (p > 0.05). Twist1 was an independent factor contributing to the invasion ability of cervical cancer cells. In addition, the positive rate of lymph node metastasis and LVSI was higher in the Twist1(+)Snail1(+)SCCA(+) group than in the SCCA(+) group, Twist1(+) group and Snail1(+) group, respectively (p < 0.05).
Combined detection of Twist1 and Snail1 in SCCA-positive biopsy specimens may be a potential method for evaluating the invasion and metastasis of CSCC prior to surgery.
KeywordsTwist1 Snail1 Squamous cell carcinoma antigen Cervical squamous cell carcinoma
Compliance with ethical standards
Informed consent was obtained from each participants included in the study.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (81671430).
Ethical approval was given by the medical ethics committee of Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. And this article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
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