Overexpression of folate receptor alpha is an independent prognostic factor for outcomes of pancreatic cancer patients

Shizuma Omote, Katsuyoshi Takata, Takehiro Tanaka, Tomoko Miyata-Takata, Yoshiyuki Ayada, Mai Noujima-Harada, Rika Omote, Tetsuya Tabata, Yasuharu Sato, Tatsuya Toyokawa, Hironari Kato, Takahito Yagi, Hiroyuki Okada, Tadashi Yoshino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis; hence, novel prognostic markers and effective therapeutic targets should be identified. We aimed to evaluate folate receptor alpha (FR-α) expression in pancreatic cancer and examine its association with clinicopathological features. We utilized tissue samples from 100 primary pancreatic cancer patients who underwent surgery. FR-α was expressed in 37 of 100 cases (37%). The FR-α-positive group (median, 18.8 months) had a significantly poorer prognosis than the FR-α-negative group [median 21.3 months; HR 1.89 (1.12–3.12); P = 0.017]. These groups were not significantly different regarding progression-free survival (P = 0.196). Furthermore, other serum tumor markers including CA19-9 (mean, 186 vs. 822 U/ml; P = 0.001), Dupan-2 (286 vs. 1133 U/ml; P = 0.000), and Span-1 (69.7 vs. 171.9 U/ml; P = 0.006) were significantly downregulated in the FR-α-positive group. CA19-9 was another prognostic factor, in addition to FR-α, and patient prognosis showed clear stratification curves with the expression of these two molecules. Along with CA19-9, FR-α expression was an independent prognostic factor for the overall survival. FR-α and CA19-9 helped predict patient prognosis based on stratification curves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Molecular Morphology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


  • CA19-9
  • FR-α
  • Folate receptor alpha
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prognostic markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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