Conclusions: Further studies based on large series are necessary to investigate the role of MASPIN and angiogenin (ANG) in angiogenetic mechanisms of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and their potential as prognostic markers. Objectives: NPC is a malignancy with an incidence among Caucasians of <1 per 100 000 per year. In NPC, the aberrations of many pathways and the alteration in expression of several proteins have been reported. Tumor angiogenesis is the result of an imbalance between pro- and anti-angiogenic factors. MASPIN exerts several anti-tumor effects including inhibition of tumor-induced angiogenesis. ANG regulates angiogenesis under both physiological and pathological conditions supporting primary and metastatic tumor growth. Methods: For the first time, we preliminarily investigated by immunohistochemistry the subcellular localization and expression of MASPIN, and the expression of ANG (in both carcinoma cells and intra-tumor vessels) and Ki-67 in 15 Caucasian patients with NPC treated with the same chemo-radiotherapeutic protocol. Results: MASPIN-positive NPCs had a prevalent cytoplasmic localization pattern. A trend towards significant direct correlation between MASPIN presence and disease-free survival (DFS) (p 0.08) and a trend towards significant inverse correlation between ANG expression and DFS (p 0.07) were found. An association between MASPIN presence and lower ANG expression in carcinoma cells was disclosed (statistical trend, p 0.10).
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