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Tryptase expression as a prognostic marker in patients with resected gastric cancer. BJS 2017; 104: 1037-1044.

Published: 24th May 2017

Authors: C. Lin, H. Liu, H. Zhang, Y. Cao, R. Li, S. Wu et al.


Mast cells play important roles in the progression of various malignancies, but their prognostic value in gastric cancer is unknown. Tryptase expression, as an indicator of mast cell activity, was therefore evaluated to see whether this could be incorporated usefully into a prognostic nomogram after surgery in patients with gastric cancer.


Tissue microarrays from patients with gastric cancer were created from formalin‐fixed, paraffin‐embedded resection specimens. Tryptase density was assessed by immunohistochemistry, and the association between tryptase expression and prognosis was evaluated. Semiquantitative scoring was devised to determine an optimal cut‐off value that correlated with survival. A prognostic nomogram was then developed incorporating tryptase expression scores along with other variables known to be related to survival.


Tissue microarrays were generated from 419 patients having surgery for gastric cancer. Increased tryptase expression was associated with better overall and recurrence‐free survival (both P < 0·001). Tryptase expression was an independent favourable prognostic factor for overall (HR 0·72; P = 0·027) and recurrence‐free (HR 0·74; P = 0·044) survival. The accuracy of an established prognostic model was improved when tryptase expression was added.


Tryptase expression is an independent prognostic factor for overall and recurrence‐free survival in patients with gastric cancer after surgical resection.

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