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This article is the author’s final published version in BMC Cancer, Volume 22, Issue 1, July 2022, Article number 748.

The published version is available at Copyright © Tanaka et al.


Background: Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) play an important role in cancer growth by interacting with cancer cells, but their effects differ depending on the type of cancer. This study investigated the role of CAFs in biliary tract cancers (BTCs), compared with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) as a comparison cohort.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated alpha-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) expression in CAFs from 114 cases of PDAC and 154 cases of BTCs who underwent surgical treatment at our institution from 1996 to 2017. CAFs were isolated from resected specimens of BTC and PDAC, and tested for the effects of their supernatants and cytokines on cancer cell proliferation.

Results: PDAC patients with positive αSMA expression showed significantly shorter overall survival and recurrence-free survival than αSMA-negative patients (p = 0.003, p = 0.009, respectively). BTC patients with positive αSMA expression showed better recurrence-free survival than αSMA-negative patients (p = 0.03). CAF-conditioned medium suppressed the proliferation of cancer cells for only OCUCh-LM1 cells and not PDAC cells. Blockage of Interleukin-8 (IL-8) or its receptor C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2) by antibodies canceled the suppressive effect of the IL-8.

Conclusions: CAFs are a good prognostic factor in BTC, but not for PDAC. Moreover, CAF-produced Interleukin-8 suppresses the proliferation of OCUCh-LM1 cell lines.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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