Objective: The ligand EphrinB2 and the corresponding receptor EphB4 are up-regulated and involved in tumour growth in various human cancers. However, little is known about how this receptor-ligand complex contributes to the progression of glioma. This prompted us to study the association between the expressions of EphrinB2 and EphB4, clinicopathological variables, and glioma patient outcome.
Methods: Immunohistochemical staining was performed to detect the expression patterns of EphrinB2 and EphB4 in the biopsies from 96 patients with primary gliomas. Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox regression analyses were performed to evaluate the prognosis of patients.
Results: Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the expression of EphrinB2 was significantly correlated with that of EphB4 (r=0.86, p=0.002). EphrinB2 and EphB4 were significantly associated with the Karnofsky performance scale (KPS) score and World Health Organization grades of patients with gliomas, respectively. Especially, the positive expression rates of EphrinB2 and EphB4 were significantly higher in patients with higher grade (both p=0.001) and lower KPS score (p=0.002 and 0.003, respectively). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that EphrinB2 and EphB4 expressions were both independent prognostic factors for progress-free survival of glioblastoma patients (both p=0.02).
Conclusion: Our data indicated for the first time that EphrinB2 and EphB4 expressions increase according to the histopathological grade and KPS score of glioma, and their expression levels are related to the progression-free survival of glioblastoma patients.