The incidence, correlation with tumor-infiltrating inflammation, and prognosis of phosphorylated STAT3 expression in human gliomas

Mohamed Abou-Ghazal, David S. Yng, Wei Qiao, Chantal Reina-Ortiz, Jun Wei, Ling Yuan Kong, Gregory N. Fuller, Nobuyoshi Hiraoka, Waldemar Priebe, Raymond Sawaya, Amy B. Heimberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Purpose: The signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is frequently overex-pressed in most cancers, propagates tumorigenesis, and is a key regulator of immune suppression in cancerpatients. We sought to determine the incidence of phosphorylated STAT3 (p-STAT3) expression in malignant gliomas of different pathologic types, whether p-STAT3 expression is a negative prognostic factor, and whether p-STAT3 expression influences the inflammatory response within gliomas. Methods: Using immunohistochemical analysis, we measured the incidence of p-STAT3 expression in 129 patients with gliomas of various pathologic types in a glioma tissue microarray. We categorized our results according to the total number of p-STAT3-expressing cells within the gliomas and correlated this number with the number of infiltrating T cells and T regulatory cells. We then evaluated the association between p-STAT3 expression and median survival time using univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: We did not detect p-STAT3 expression in normal brain tissues or low-grade astrocytomas. We observed significant differences in the incidence of p-STAT3 expression between the different grades of astrocytomas and different pathologic glioma types. p-STAT3 expression was associated with the population of tumor-infiltrating immune cells but not with that of T regulatory cells. On univariate analysis, we found that p-STAT3 expression within anaplastic astrocytomas was a negative prognostic factor. Conclusions: p-STAT3 expression is common within gliomas of both the astrocytic and oligo-dendroglial lineages and portends poor survival in patients with anaplastic astrocytomas. p-STAT3 expression differs significantly between gliomas of different pathologic types and grades and correlated with the degree of immune infiltration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8228-8235
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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