Background: The molecular and cellular mechanisms linking chronic inflammation and gastrointestinal malignancy are not known with certainty.
Aim: To investigate changes in potential causative factors during progression of esophagus cancer in a population living in high-risk area in Iran.
Subjects: Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded esophageal specimens (n=87) from patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett's metaplasia, adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cells carcinoma (SCC) were collected based on their pathological diagnosis.
Methods: Immunohistochemical (IHC) technique was used to study tissue accumulation of P53, P21, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), glutathione S-transferase-P (GST-Pi) and nitrotyrosine (NT) in patients and controls.
Results: P53 expression was not detected in esophageal tissues from normal and GERD samples, whereas it was found positive in Barrett's, ADC, and SCC samples. P21 positive sample was relatively higher in ADC patients as compared to that in SCC (ADC: 52.6%; SCC: 25%). GST-Pi expression was equally accumulated in all the samples. NT was predominantly expressed in ADC (72.7%). COX-2 expression was significantly higher in Barrett's (60.0%) and ADC (66.6%) as compared to that in GERD, SCC and normal. These data were further confirmed by detecting the scores of immunostainings in all the positive samples.
Conclusion: The pathological changes in ADC and SCC samples which were associated with increasing frequency of NT and COX-2 provides further evidence for involvement of these inflammatory factors in progression of esophagus cancer.