Research Papers:

Vitamin D receptor as a marker of prognosis in oesophageal adenocarcinoma: a prospective cohort study

Stephen McCain _, James Trainor, Damian T. McManus, Úna C. McMenamin, Stephen McQuaid, Victoria Bingham, Jacqueline A. James, Manuel Salto-Tellez, Richard C. Turkington and Helen G. Coleman

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:34347-34356. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26151

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Stephen McCain1, James Trainor2, Damian T. McManus2, Úna C. McMenamin1, Stephen McQuaid3, Victoria Bingham3, Jacqueline A. James3, Manuel Salto-Tellez3, Richard C. Turkington3 and Helen G. Coleman1,3

1Cancer Epidemiology Research Group, Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland

2Department of Pathology, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland

3Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Correspondence to:

Stephen McCain, email: [email protected]

Keywords: vitamin D receptor; oesophageal cancer; oesophageal adenocarcinoma

Abbreviations: VDR: Vitamin D receptor

Received: August 22, 2018     Accepted: September 05, 2018     Published: September 28, 2018


Aims: Vitamin D receptor (VDR) expression has been associated with survival in several cancer sites. This study aims to evaluate the association between VDR expression and prognosis in oesophageal adenocarcinoma patients.

Results: During a median of 2.5 (maximum 9) years of follow-up, 75 patients died. In analysis adjusted for confounders, higher VDR expression was associated with an improved overall survival (HR 0.49 95% CI 0.25–0.96) and disease-specific survival (HR 0.50 95% CI 0.26–0.99), when comparing the highest with the lowest tertile of expression. These associations were strongest in sensitivity analysis restricted to junctional tumours.

Conclusions: This study is the first to demonstrate that patients with higher VDR expression in oesophageal adenocarcinoma have a more favourable prognosis. Further work is needed to validate these findings, and to define the role of VDR in the aetiology, progression and management of oesophageal adenocarcinoma.

Methods: Oesophageal adenocarcinoma specimens and clinical data were collected from 130 patients treated with neo-adjuvant chemotherapy prior to surgical resection at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre between 2004 and 2012. Tissue microarrays were created and immunohistochemical staining for VDR was performed on triplicate tumour cores from each resection specimen. Cox proportional hazards models were applied to evaluate associations between VDR, according to tertiles of expression, and survival outcomes.

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