The clinical implication of PTEN and FAK expression in gastric cancer patients

Yi Chen Lai, Kuo Hung Huang, Ming Huang Chen, Yee Chao, Su Shun Lo, Anna Fen Yau Li, Chew Wun Wu, Yi Ming Shyr, Wen Liang Fang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The tumor suppressor gene phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) was reported to inhibit the growth and invasion of gastric cancer (GC) via the downregulation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). To date, the clinical implication of PTEN and FAK expression in GC has not been well addressed. Methods: A total of 200 GC patients receiving curative surgery were enrolled. The clinicopathologic features according to the expression of PTEN and FAK protein using immunohistochemical staining were compared among patients. Results: Patients with high PTEN expression were more likely to have smaller tumor size, more well- and moderately differentiated tumors, a more superficial gross appearance, less scirrhous stromal reactions, more likely to have high FAK expression, and have less advanced pathologic tumor (T) category, node (N) category, and tumor, node, metastasis (TNM) stage and more distant metastases than patients with low PTEN expression. Multivariate analysis showed that PTEN/FAK expression status is an independent prognostic factor affecting overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Patients with PTEN(high)/FAK(low) had better OS and DFS, followed by those with PTEN(high)/ FAK(high), those with PTEN(low)/FAK(low), and those with PTEN(low)/FAK(high) (OS: 83.3% versus 58.0% versus 46.2% versus 26.5%, respectively, P < 0.001; DFS: 83.3% versus 55.8% versus 30.8% versus 24.4%, respectively, P < 0.001). Conclusions: GC patients with high PTEN expression were more likely to have fewer tumor recurrences and a better prognosis than those with low PTEN expression. PTEN and FAK may have opposing effects on GC patient survival. Our results may have clinical impact on treatment of GC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Curative surgery
  • FAK
  • Gastric cancer
  • PTEN
  • Survival


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