Characteristic gene expression in stromal cells of gastric cancers among atomic-bomb survivors



To elucidate the mechanism of radiation-induced cancers, molecular analysis of cancers in atomic-bomb survivors is important. In our study, we developed a custom oligonucleotide array of 208 genes. We analyzed gene expression profiles of gastric cancers (GCs) from atomic-bomb survivors and identified 9 genes with significantly lower expression in GCs from exposed patients than in GCs from nonexposed patients. Among these 9 genes, expression of versican and osteonectin was investigated in greater detail using immunohistochemistry in 116 GCs from 64 exposed and 52 nonexposed patients who developed GC after the bombing. In the Stage I/II GCs, the clinicopathologic, phenotypic and proliferative characteristics of GCs from exposed and nonexposed patients did not differ significantly; however, versican and osteonectin were expressed at much lower levels in the area of tumor-associated stroma of exposed patients than in nonexposed patients (p = 0.026 and p = 0.024, respectively). These results suggest that the characteristics of tumor-associated stromal cells differ between GCs from exposed and nonexposed patients. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.