BACKGROUND: Although colorectal cancer (CRC) is generally not considered to be a hormone-dependent malignancy, several sex-related differences in incidence, molecular characteristics and survival have been reported. Epidemiological studies have consistently shown that increased exposure to female sex hormones is associated with a lower risk of CRC in women, and cyclin D1, an important downstream effector in estrogen-mediated signaling, is commonly activated in CRC. In this study, we analyzed the prognostic significance of cyclin D1 expression in CRC, with particular reference to sex-related differences, in tumors from a large, prospective, population-based cohort. METHODS: Using tissue microarrays and immunohistochemistry, the fraction and intensity of cyclin D1 expression was evaluated in 527 incident CRC cases from the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study. The χ2 and Spearman's rho (ρ) tests were used for comparison of cyclin D1 expression and relevant clinicopathological characteristics. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to assess the effect of cyclin D1 expression on cancer-specific survival (CSS) in univariate and multivariate analysis, adjusted for established prognostic factors. RESULTS: Cyclin D1 intensity was significantly lower in male compared with female CRC (P = 0.018). In the full cohort, cyclin D1 expression was associated with a significantly prolonged CSS (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.69; 95% CI 0.49 to 0.96, P = 0.026) but subgroup analysis according to gender revealed a strongly accentuated prognostic effect of cyclin D1 in male CRC (HR = 0.48; 95% CI 0.31 to 0.74, P < 0.001), which was in contrast to female CRC, where cyclin D1 was not prognostic (HR = 1.05; 95% CI 0.62 to 1.78, P = 0.864) (Pinteraction = 0.024). The prognostic value of cyclin D1 was not retained in multivariate analysis, either in the full cohort or in male CRC. CONCLUSIONS: Cyclin D1 expression is strongly associated with prolonged survival in male CRC. These findings not only support an important role for cyclin D1 in colorectal carcinogenesis, but also add further weight to the accumulating evidence that CRC is indeed a hormone-dependent malignancy, for which prognostic and treatment-predictive molecular biomarkers should be evaluated differently in women and men.
The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Surgery Research Unit (013242220), Molecular Reproductive Medicine (013241710), Pathology, (Lund) (013030000)
- Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
- Cancer and Oncology