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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 723176, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/723176
Research Article

Correlation of Altered Expression of the Autophagy Marker LC3B with Poor Prognosis in Astrocytoma

1Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
3Department of Pathology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
4Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
5Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
6Department of Neurosurgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
7Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
8Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
9Acupuncture Research Center, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 40402, Taiwan

Received 28 February 2014; Accepted 10 April 2014; Published 12 May 2014

Academic Editor: Hung-Chen Wang

Copyright © 2014 Daniel Winardi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Glioblastoma multiforme is one of the most serious malignant brain tumors and is characterized by resistance to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Recent studies suggest that autophagy may play an important role not only in the regulation of cancer development and progression but also in determining the response of cancer cells to anticancer therapy. The purpose of the present study was to assess the relationship between protein expressions of two autophagy markers, LC3B and Beclin-1, with clinical parameters in astrocytoma patients. Furthermore, the expression of CD133, a marker of the cancer stem-like cells, in astrocytoma patients was also investigated. A total of 106 thin-section slides were retrospectively collected from astrocytoma patients. LC3B, but not Beclin-1, protein expression was found to significantly correlate with resistance to radiation- or chemotherapy. In addition, high intensity of LC3B staining was predictive of poor prognosis. Furthermore, survival time of patients with high-level expression in both CD133 and LC3B was significantly shorter than those with weak expression in both CD133 and LC3B. These results suggest that astrocytoma cancer stem-like cells together with enhanced autophagy may cause resistance to radiation therapy/chemotherapy and that targeting the cancer stem-like cell in astrocytoma may offer a viable therapeutic approach.