Background: Synuclein gamma (SNCG), initially identified as a breast cancer specific gene, is aberrantly expressed in many different malignant tumors but rarely expressed in matched nonneoplastic adjacent tissues. In this study, we investigated the prognostic potential of SNCG in colon cancer particularly in the patients with normal carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels.
Methods: SNCG levels were assessed immunohistochemically in cancer tissues from 229 colon adenocarcinoma patients with a mean follow-up of 44 months. Correlations between SNCG levels and clinicopathologic features, preoperative serum CEA level, and clinical outcome were analyzed statistically using SPSS.
Results: SNCG levels in colon adenocarcinoma were closely associated with intravascular embolus and tumor recurrence but independent of preoperative serum CEA levels. SNCG expression was an independent prognostic factor of a shorter disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) (P < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis revealed that both tissue SNCG and serum CEA were independent prognostic factors of DFS (P = 0.001, <0.0001, respectively) for 170 patients with colon adenocarcinomas. Importantly, SNCG remained a prognostic determinant of DFS and OS (P = 0.001, 0.002) for 97 patients with normal preoperative serum CEA level.
Conclusions: Our results suggest for the first time that SNCG is a new independent predicator for poor prognosis in patients with colon adenocarcinoma, including those with normal CEA levels. Combination of CEA with SNCG improves prognostic evaluation for patients with colon adenocarcinoma.