2015 Volume 236 Issue 4 Pages 311-318
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) has been proved to be a significant prognostic factor and a potential therapeutic target in several types of cancer, including gastric cancer. FGFR2 consists two isoforms: FGFR2-IIIb and FGFR2-IIIc, which can be stimulated by different ligands and trigger different downstream signaling pathways. As a specific ligand to FGFR2-IIIb, fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF10) is expressed in the gastric mesenchyme cell and is involved in stomach development and morphogenesis, but its expression and clinical significance is not well elucidated in gastric cancer. We analyzed FGF10 expression by immunohistochemistry in 178 samples of gastric adenocarcinoma (134 male and 44 female patients, with the average age of 63.2 years old and the average follow-up of 21.6 months). Using the arbitrarily scoring method based on positive cell percentage and staining intensity, we sub-divided the patients into FGF10 high-expression group (58 patients) and low-expression group (120 patients). We thus found that FGF10 expression is significantly associated with lymph node invasion (P = 0.004) and distant metastasis (P = 0.032). Importantly, FGF10 expression is an independent unfavorable prognostic factor (P = 0.042). Moreover, FGF10 knockdown significantly decreased the migration of cultured gastric adenocarcinoma cells, suggesting that FGF10 could promote the invasion of gastric adenocarcinoma. In conclusion, FGF10 expression was identified as a poor prognostic biomarker in gastric adenocarcinoma, and FGF10 could promote the invasion of gastric cancer cells. We suggest that FGF10 could be a potential and promising drug target in gastric adenocarcinoma.