Nerve-glial antigen 2: A novel target for anti-tumor therapy in colorectal cancer
MetadataShow full item record
Background/Aims: To identify cell surface markers selectively expressed by tumor cells and tumor vasculature is the current goal for tumor therapy. One such marker is nerve/glial antigen 2 (NG2), which is a transmembrane glycoprotein. We aimed to investigate the expression of NG2 in colorectal cancer (CRC) and its association with clinicopathological parameters. Methods: Immunohistochemical staining of NG2, vascular endothelial growth factor, and CD34 in 65 patients diagnosed with CRC over a 5-year period was performed. NG2 expression in both tumor cells and tumor vasculature was scored according to the German Reactive Scoring System. The association between NG2 and patient and tumor characteristics was analyzed. Results: NG2 was expressed by tumor cells in 56.9%, tumor vasculature in 43%, and simultaneously by both in 27.6% of the cases. Tumor cell NG2 was more common in elderly patients (p = 0.023) and vascular NG2 was associated with better tumor differentiation (p = 0.035). Notably, vascular NG2 was expressed in half of the patients with left colon cancer, although it was not expressed in a majority of those with right colon cancer (50.9 vs. 17.7%, p = 0.041). Conclusion: Both tumor cell and vascular NG2 expression were shown to be present in a significant number of patients with CRC and this makes NG2 a double target for anti-tumor therapies. Such therapies might be more effective for elderly patients with well-differentiated left colon cancer. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.