Background: Galectins are a group of carbohydrate-binding proteins that are involved in neoplastic development and progression. In a previous mass spectrometry-based study, we identified galectin 4 as a down-regulated protein in short-term survivors of pancreatic cancer. This study was performed to validate the prognostic value of galectin 4 in a larger cohort of pancreatic cancer patients undergoing surgical resection.
Methods: Galectin 4 expression was evaluated by tissue microarrays and immunohistochemistry in 140 patients with surgically resected pancreatic cancer. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to explore the association between galectin 4 and survival.
Results: Galectin 4 staining expression was positive in 111 cases (79.3%). The expression of galectin 4 was significantly associated with tumor size (p = .008) and differentiation (p = .001). Galectin 4 expression was significantly correlated with disease recurrence within 1 year of surgery (adjusted HR 0.485, p = .027). There was also a significant association between galectin 4 and overall survival at 1 year (adjusted HR 0.482, p = .047) and at 3 years (adjusted HR 0.550, p = .025).
Conclusion: Galectin 4 expression is a novel biomarker for early recurrence and mortality after surgical resection for pancreatic cancer.
Keywords: LGALS4; Pancreatic cancer; early recurrence; galectin 4; survival.