Research Papers:

Prognostic significance of AMPK in human malignancies: A meta-analysis

Ji Cheng, Xiaoming Shuai, Jinbo Gao, Ming Cai, Guobin Wang _ and Kaixiong Tao

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:75739-75748. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12405

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Ji Cheng1, Xiaoming Shuai1, Jinbo Gao1, Ming Cai1, Guobin Wang1, Kaixiong Tao1

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

Correspondence to:

Kaixiong Tao, email: [email protected]

Keywords: AMPK, prognosis, cancer, meta-analysis, malignancies

Received: May 23, 2016    Accepted: September 20, 2016    Published: October 03, 2016


Background: AMPK is a well-investigated kinase mediating cellular metabolism and stress responses. However, its indicative role in survival prognosis remains ill-defined. Therefore we performed this meta-analysis in order to clarify the prognostic impact of AMPK expression in human malignancies.

Methods: Literatures were retrieved via searching databases of PubMed, Web of Science, Embase and Cochrane Library. Studies comparing the prognostic significance between different AMPK levels among human malignancies were included into the pooled analysis. The statistical procedures were conducted by Review Manager 5.3 and the effect size was displayed by model of odds ratio. Subgroup analyses were additionally implemented to disclose the potential confounding elements. The outcome stability was examined by sensitivity analysis, and both Begg’s test and Egger’s test were utilized to detect the publication bias across the included studies.

Results: 21 retrospective cohorts were eventually obtained with a total sample-size of 9987 participants. Patients with higher AMPK expression had better outcomes of 3-year overall survival (P<0.0001), 5-year overall survival (P<0.0001), 10-year overall survival (P<0.0001), 3-year disease free survival (P<0.0001), 5-year disease free survival (P=0.002) and 10-year disease free survival (P=0.0004). Moreover, the majority of subgroup results also verified the favorably prognostic significance of AMPK over-expression. The outcome stability was confirmed by sensitivity analysis. Results of Begg’s (P=0.76) and Egger’s test (P=0.09) suggested that there was no publication bias within the included trials.

Conclusions: Higher expression of AMPK significantly indicates better prognosis in human malignancies.

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