High mobility group protein A2 overexpression indicates poor prognosis for cancer patients: a meta-analysis

Dan Nie _, Lingping Zhang, Qian Guo and Xiguang Mao

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:1237-1247. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23085

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Dan Nie1, Lingping Zhang2, Qian Guo1 and Xiguang Mao1

1Department of Gynecology, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China

2Department of Neonatology, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Dan Nie, email: [email protected]

Keywords: high-mobility group protein A; prognosis; meta-analysis

Received: July 29, 2017     Accepted: November 17, 2017     Published: December 10, 2017


Overexpression of the high mobility group protein A2 (HMGA2), an architectural transcription factor, has been linked to poor prognosis in many malignancies, although this remains controversial. Herein, we conducted a meta-analysis to investigate whether HMGA2 has prognostic value, and evaluated the association between HMGA2 and clinicopathologic factors in malignancies. A total of 29 studies involving 4114 patients were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled results demonstrated that elevated HMGA2 predicted a poor overall survival (OS) (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.82; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.62–2.05; P < 0.001) and disease-free survival/progression-free survival/recurrence-free survival (HR = 1.94; 95% CI = 1.27–2.98; P = 0.002). Subgroup analysis conducted by study region, sample size, detection method, and analysis method indicated that HMGA2 overexpression correlated with poor OS. Furthermore, HMGA2 overexpression was found to be linked to poor OS in various cancers except ovarian cancer (pooled HR = 1.14; 95% CI = 0.62–2.09; P = 0.673). High HMGA2 expression level also correlated with advanced TNM stage (OR = 2.44; 95% CI =1.87–3.2; P < 0.001), lymphovascular invasion (OR = 2.46, 95% CI = 1.67–3.64; P < 0.001), distant metastasis (OR = 2.66; 95% CI =1.51–4.69; P < 0.001), and lymph node metastasis (OR = 1.83; 95% CI =1.27–2.64; P = 0.001). In conclusion, HMGA2 overexpression indicates a worse prognosis and may serve as a prognostic predictor in cancer patients.

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