Background: SPARC (secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine) is closely related with the progress, invasion and metastasis of malignant tumor and angiogenesis.
Methods: Using human colon adenocarcinoma tissues (hereinafter referred to as colon cancer) and their corresponding non-diseased colon from 114 patients' biopsies, the expression of SPARC and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were investigated by immunohistochemistry staining to assessment the relationship between SPARC and VEGF, as well as their prognostic significance in patients. Evaluation of VEGF expression level with the same tissues was used to establish the antigenic profiles, and the marker of CD34 staining was used as an indicator of microvessel density (MVD).
Results: SPARC expression was mainly in the stromal cells surrounding the colon cancer, and was significant difference in those tissues with the lymph node metastasis and differentiation degree of tumor. Expression of SPARC was significantly correlated with the expression of VEGF and MVD in colon cancer tissues. Patients with low or absence expressing SPARC had significantly worse overall survival and disease-free survival in a Single Factor Analysis; Cox Regression Analysis, SPARC emerged as an overall survival and disease-free survival independent prognostic factor for colon cancer.
Conclusion: The low expression or absence of stromal SPARC was an independent prognostic factor for poor prognosis of colon cancer. SPARC maybe involved in the regulation of anti-angiogenesis by which it may serve as a novel target for colon cancer treatment as well as a novel distinctive marker.