Research Papers:

CFTR is a potential marker for nasopharyngeal carcinoma prognosis and metastasis

Ziwei Tu, Qu Chen, Jie Ting Zhang, Xiaohua Jiang, Yunfei Xia and Hsiao Chang Chan _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:76955-76965. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12762

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Ziwei Tu1,6, Qu Chen1, Jie Ting Zhang3, Xiaohua Jiang3,4, Yunfei Xia1,2, Hsiao Chang Chan3,4,5

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University, Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

2State Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

3Epithelial Cell Biology Research Center, Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine of the Ministry of Education of China, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, PR China

4School of Biomedical Sciences Core Laboratory, Shenzhen Research Institute, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, PR China

5Sichuan University-The Chinese University of Hong Kong Joint Laboratory for Reproductive Medicine, West China Second University Hospital, Chengdu, PR China

6Department of Radiation Oncology, Jiangxi Cancer Hospital, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China

Correspondence to:

Xia Yunfei, email: [email protected]

Jiang Xiaohua, email: [email protected]

Hsiao Chang Chan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: CFTR, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, prognosis, metastasis

Received: May 26, 2016     Accepted: October 14, 2016     Published: October 19, 2016


While there is an increasing interest in the correlation of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and cancer incidence, the role of CFTR in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) development remains unknown. In this study, we aimed to explore the prognostic value of CFTR in NPC patients. The expression of CFTR was determined in NPC cell lines and tissues. Statistical analysis was utilized to evaluate the correlation between CFTR expression levels and clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis in 225 cases of NPC patients. The results showed that CFTR was down-regulated in NPC tissues and cell lines. Low expression of CFTR was correlated with advanced stage (p = 0.026), distant metastasis (p < 0.001) and poor prognosis (p < 0.01). Multivariate analysis identified CFTR as an independent prognostic factor (p = 0.003). Additionally, wound healing and transwell assays revealed that overexpression of CFTR inhibited NPC cell migration and invasion, whereas knockdown of CFTR promoted cell migration and invasion. Thus, the current study indicates that CFTR, as demonstrated to play an important role in tumor migration and invasion, may be used as a potential prognostic indicator in NPC.

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