Prognostic value of kisspeptin expression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma


  • This research was supported by the Guangzhou Science and Technology Bureau (grant number 2009Z1-E281) and a major special fund of the Tumor Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University.

  • The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.



The KiSS-1 gene has been reported to serve as a metastasis suppressor gene in various human malignancies. However, no information is available regarding the role of the KiSS-1 gene or its gene product kisspeptin in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Study Design

Retrospective study.


Kisspeptin and its receptor AXOR12 expression were assessed using immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded tumor tissues from 140 patients diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Immunoreactivity was quantified, and its relationships with patients' clinical parameters and survival were analyzed.


Using a 50% cutoff level, the immunoreactivities of kisspeptin and AXOR12 were divided into low and high expression. The expression levels of kisspeptin and AXOR12 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma were well correlated with each other (rs = 19.31, P < 0.01). Low expression of kisspeptin in nasopharyngeal carcinoma was correlated with clinical stage (P = 0.01), N stage (P = 0.03), and metastasis (P = 0.02). Patients with low kisspeptin expression had poorer distant metastasis-free survival than those with high kisspeptin expression (75.32% vs. 83.79%, P = 0.02). Although neither kisspeptin nor AXOR12 were found to be prognostic factors for overall survival, kisspeptin was determined to be an independent prognostic factor for distant metastasis-free survival (P = 0.03) using multivariate analysis.


In this study, we report for the first time that low kisspeptin expression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma is correlated with poor clinical outcome; kisspeptin could serve as an independent prognostic marker for metastasis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Level of Evidence

N/A. Laryngoscope, 124:E167–E174, 2014