Article Abstract

Galectin-9 as a prognostic biomarker in small cell lung cancer

Authors: Yaolin Xu, Chao Guan, Xiaoye Zhang


Background: Galectin-9 has been reported to play an important role in the immunoregulation, survival, and growth of different cancers. Our study aims to uncover the clinical significance of galectin-9 in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) postoperatively.
Methods: We studied 48 patients with SCLC who underwent surgery from 2008 to 2014. Galectin-9 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry on tissue and plot survival curves by the Kaplan-Meier curve. Prognostic analysis was conducted via integrating all of the independent indicators into a multivariate Cox analysis for overall survival (OS). Furthermore, we evaluate whether SCLC patients with high or low galectin-9 expression might benefit from chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Results: High galectin-9 expression was significantly correlated with high levels of neuron specific enolase (NSE) expression (P=0.04). We found that galectin-9 (P<0.001), NSE (P=0.006) and postoperative therapeutic methods (P=0.006) were associated with patient survival time by Kaplan–Meier survival calculations and log-rank tests. SCLC patients with high galectin-9 expression had a relatively shorter OS than those with low galectin-9 expression. In addition, a multivariate analysis revealed high galectin-9 expression as a potential independent prognostic factor for OS [hazard ratio (HR) =6.21, 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.98–12.95, P<0.01], disregarding elevated NSE and therapeutic methods. Moreover, the benefit to patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy was superior in galectin-9 high expressed SCLC patients.
Conclusions: High expression of galectin-9 is an independent prognostic factor for OS in patients with SCLC. Evaluation of galectin-9 expression may predict the benefits from chemotherapy or radiotherapy.