The team investigated expression of survivin in gastric cancer and non-cancer first-degree relatives.
The findings of the study were published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Cancer.
Survivin was recently described as an apoptosis inhibitor. However, its pathogenic role in gastric cancer is largely unknown.
The association of survivin with apoptosis and cyclo-oxygenase-2 expression was also examined.
A total of 50 gastric cancer, 30 non-cancer first-degree relatives, 20 normal controls, and 5 gastric cancer cell lines were studied.
Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot were used to evaluate survivin and cyclo-oxygenase-2.
The investigators found that survivin expression was absent from normal gastric mucosa.
On the other hand, all 5 cancer cell lines and 34 out of 50 (68%) human gastric cancer tissues expressed survivin mRNA.
|68% of human gastric cancer tissues expressed survivin mRNA.
| British Journal of Cancer |
Survivin expression was less frequent (22%) in adjacent non-tumor gastric tissues.
Immunohistochemistry and Western blot obtained similar findings.
Gastric cancers with survivin expression displayed significantly reduced apoptosis, and were associated with cyclo-oxygenase-2 overexpression at both mRNA and protein levels.
Moreover, survivin mRNA was detected in the gastric mucosa of 8 (27%) non-cancer relatives.
Expression in non-cancer patients showed positive correlation with H. pylori infection.
Author J. Yu, of the Prince of Wales Hospital, Chinese University of Hong Kong, said on behalf of the group, "This demonstrates the frequent expression of survivin in gastric cancer and in first-degree relatives."
"Co-expression of survivin and cyclo-oxygenase-2 may suggest multiple pathways contributing to the inhibition of apoptosis in gastric cancer," it was concluded.