SOX4 is a potential prognostic factor in human cancers: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Transl Oncol. 2016 Jan;18(1):65-72. doi: 10.1007/s12094-015-1337-4. Epub 2015 Aug 7.


Objective: The aim of the this study was to analyze the status of sex-determining region Y-related high-mobility group box 4 (SOX4) expression in varied human cancers and its correlation with overall survival in patients with human cancers.

Methods: To observe initially the expression status of SOX4 in twenty kinds of human cancers at protein database (The Human Protein Atlas). We systematically and carefully searched the studies from electronic databases and seriously identified according to eligibility criteria. The correlation between SOX4 expression and overall survival in human cancers was evaluated through Review Manager.

Results: We found that SOX4 expression was significantly positive in most types of human cancer tissues, and the positive rate of SOX4 expression was about 78 % in overall cancer tissues. Furthermore, a total of 10 studies which included 1348 cancer patients were included in the final analysis. Meta-analysis showed that SOX4 overexpression was correlated with a poor overall survival and the pooled hazard ratio (HR), and corresponding 95 % confidence interval (CI) was 1.67 (95 % CI 1.01-2.78). From subgroup analyses, we present evidence that SOX4 overexpression was an unfavorable prognostic factor for colorectal cancer patients' recurrence-free survival and gastric cancer patients' overall survival, and the pooled HRs (95 % CI) were 1.73 (95 % CI 1.04-2.88) and 3.74 (95 % CI 1.04-13.45), respectively.

Conclusions: In summary, SOX4 is a potential prognostic biomarker in human cancers.

Keywords: Cancer; Meta-analysis; Prognosis; SOX4.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor* / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • SOXC Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXC Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • SOXC Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Tissue Array Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • SOX4 protein, human
  • SOXC Transcription Factors