Background The aim of the present study was to investigate whether microarray gene expression analysis can be used to predict lymph node status in gastric cancer. Methods Twenty-nine patients undergoing gastrectomy for cancer were enrolled and subdivided according to the pathologic nodal involvement of their disease (N+ vs N0). Molecular profiling was performed by cDNA microarray on tumor tissue and healthy mucosa. Data were processed to identify differently expressed genes. Selected genes were categorized with gene ontology. Results Compared to healthy gastric mucosa, 52 genes were differently expressed in N+ patients, and 50 genes in N0 patients. Forty-five genes were similarly regulated in N+ and N0 patients, whereas 12 genes were differently expressed between N+ and N0 patients. Seven genes were exclusively expressed in N+ patients: Egr-1 was upregulated; Claudin-18, AKR1C2, Cathepsin E, CA II, TFF 1, and progastricsin were downregulated. Five genes were exclusively expressed in N0 patients: Complement C5 receptor 1, PLA2/VII, and MMP- 9 were upregulated; MAO-A and ID-4 were downregulated. Conclusions Microarray analysis could be a valuable tool to identify genes associated with lymph node metastasis in gastric cancer. This technique could improve the selection of patients with locally advanced disease who are candidates for extended lymph node dissection, multimodal treatment options, or alternative therapeutic strategies.
- gastric cancer