Serial analysis of gene expression identifies connective tissue growth factor expression as a prognostic biomarker in gallbladder cancer

Hector Alvarez, Alejandro Corvalan, Juan C. Roa, Pedram Argani, Francisco Murillo, Jennifer Edwards, Robert Beaty, Georg Feldmann, Seung Mo Hong, Michael Mullendore, Ivan Roa, Luis Ibañez, Fernando Pimentel, Alfonso Diaz, Gregory J. Riggins, Anirban Maitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is an uncommon neoplasm in the United States, but one with high mortality rates. This malignancy remains largely understudied at the molecular level such that few targeted therapies or predictive biomarkers exist. Experimental Design: We built the first series of serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) libraries from GBC and nonneoplastic gallbladder mucosa, composed of 21-bp long-SAGE tags. SAGE libraries were generated from three stage-matched GBC patients (representing Hispanic/ Latino, Native American, and Caucasian ethnicities, respectively) and one histologically alithiasic gallbladder. Real-time quantitative PCR was done on microdissected epithelium from five matched GBC and corresponding nonneoplastic gallbladder mucosa. Immunohistochemical analysis was done on a panel of 182 archival GBC in high-throughput tissue microarray format. Results: SAGE tags corresponding to connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) transcripts were identified as differentially overexpressed in all pairwise comparisons of GBC (P < 0.001). Realtime quantitative PCR confirmed significant overexpression of CTGF transcripts in microdissected primary GBC (P < 0.05), but not in metastatic GBC, compared with nonneoplastic gallbladder epithelium. By immunohistochemistry, 66 of 182 (36%) GBC had high CTGF antigen labeling, which was significantly associated with better survival on univariate analysis (P = 0.0069, log-rank test). Conclusions: An unbiased analysis of the GBC transcriptome by SAGE has identified CTGF expression as a predictive biomarker of favorable prognosis in this malignancy. The SAGE libraries from GBC and nonneopfastic gallbladder mucosa are publicly available at the Cancer Genome Anatomy Project web site and should facilitate much needed research into this lethal neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2631-2638
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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