Expression of Neighbor of Punc E11 (NOPE) in early stage esophageal adenocarcinoma is associated with reduced survival

Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 4;12(1):3584. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-07580-y.


Current recommendations suggest neoadjuvant treatment in node-positive esophageal cancer or tumors staged T3 and upwards but some T2 N0 patients might benefit from neoadjuvant therapy. It is of clinical relevance to identify this subgroup. Loss of epithelial apicobasal polarity is a key factor in the development of invasive capabilities of carcinoma. The oncofetal stem/progenitor cell marker NOPE is expressed in adult depolarized murine hepatocytes and in murine/human hepatocellular carcinoma. We analyzed NOPE expression in 363 patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma using an RNA Scope Assay on a tissue microarray and correlated results with clinical data. Median follow-up was 57.7 months with a 5-year survival rate of 26.6%. NOPE was detectable in 32 patients (8.8%). In pT1/2 stages, NOPE expression was associated with a significantly reduced median OS of 6.3 months (95% CI 1.2-19.4 months), the median OS is not reached in the NOPE-negative group (calculated mean OS 117.1 months) (P = 0.012). In advanced tumor stages, a NOPE dependent survival difference was not detected. This is the first report of NOPE expression demonstrating a prognostic value in esophageal cancer. Early stage, NOPE positive patients are at a high risk of tumor progression and may benefit from neoadjuvant treatment analogous to advanced stage cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / pathology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Mice
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nope protein, mouse

Supplementary concepts

  • Adenocarcinoma Of Esophagus