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Diagnostic and prognostic value of the peripheral natural killer cell levels in gastric cancer

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Peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets have been reported to be useful as prognostic and/or diagnostic markers for patients with cancer. However, the clinical value of peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets in gastric cancer (GC) has remained elusive. In the present study, peripheral CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, B cells (CD19+), regulatory T cells (Tregs; CD4+CD25+CD127) and natural killer (NK) cells (CD3CDl6+CD56+) were detected by flow cytometry in 122 patients with GC, 80 healthy donors (HDs) and 80 patients with gastric ulcer (GU). NK cells (CD56+) were detected by immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis in 20 GC and three GU tissue samples. A receiveroperating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to determine the threshold of the peripheral NK cell level and survival analysis was performed to assess its prognostic value in patients with GC. The results indicated that the peripheral NK cell proportion in patients with GC (18.77%) was significantly higher than that in the HD (12.19%) and GU (12.74%) groups. IHC analysis suggested that the NK level in GC tumor samples was correlated with that in paired serum samples. ROC curve analysis indicated that the peripheral NK cell level (15.16%) was able to effectively identify patients with GC, a diagnostic sensitivity of 75.41% and a specificity of 77.45% were determined. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the peripheral NK cell level was independently associated with the T stage and survival analysis demonstrated that high levels of peripheral NK cells were associated with poor prognosis of patients with GC. In conclusion, the peripheral NK cell level may be a diagnostic and prognostic marker for patients with GC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, P.R. China 2: Department of Hematology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, P.R. China 3: Department of Pathology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, P.R. China

Publication date: October 1, 2020

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  • Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine aims to ensure the expedient publication, in both print and electronic format, of studies relating to biology, gene therapy, infectious disease, microbiology, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. The journal welcomes studies pertaining to all aspects of molecular medicine, and studies relating to in vitro or in vivo experimental model systems relevant to the mechanisms of disease are also included.

    All materials submitted to this journal undergo the appropriate review via referees who are experts in this field. All materials submitted follow international guidelines with regard to approval of experiments on humans and animals.
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