Increased expression of thioredoxin-1 in human colorectal cancer is associated with decreased patient survival

Jennifer Raffel, Achyut K. Bhattacharyya, Alfred Gallegos, Haiyan Cui, Janine G. Einspahr, David S. Alberts, Garth Powis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Scopus citations


Thioredoxin-1 is a redox protein that, when overexpressed, causes increased cancer-cell growth and inhibited apoptosis. Thioredoxin-1 expression has been reported to be increased in several human primary tumors, but its relationship to tumor progression and patient survival has not been established. We studied the expression of thioredoxin-1 as measured with immunohistochemical staining in paraffin-embedded human normal colonic mucosa, adenomatous polyps, and primary and metastatic colorectal cancer. Thioredoxin-1 expression was not increased in 12 colorectal adenomatous polyps, compared with 8 samples of normal colonic mucosa, but was significantly increased in 12 primary colorectal cancers (P < .01). Thioredoxin-1 expression was not significantly different in primary lymph-node metastases and the primary colorectal cancer. Using colorectal cancer samples from 37 subjects for whom survival data was available, we found that thioredoxin-1 expression increased with Dukes stage, although the association was not statistically significant (P = .077). We noted a significant association between thioredoxin-1 expression and patient survival (P = .004); higher score was associated with decreased survival. When adjusted for Dukes stage, thioredoxin-1 expression showed a statistically significant association with survival (P = .012). The work shows that increased thioredoxin-1 expression is a relatively late event in colorectal carcinogenesis and provides evidence in a small group of subjects with colorectal cancer of Dukes stages A through D that thioredoxin-1 expression may be an independent marker of patient prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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