By: Masakazu Goto; Mingyao Liu
Esophageal cancer (EC) is one of the most lethal malignancies of the digestive tract and remains to be improved poor prognosis. Two histological subtypes, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), are major characteristics of EC. Deep understanding about both subtypes is essential to overcome EC. Here, we focus on chemokines and their receptors as biomarkers and their current applications for the prognosis in EC. We reviewed relevant articles identified using PubMed database for the chemokines and their receptors in EC analyzed by immunohistochemistry. The primary objective is to summarize evidences for them as prognostic biomarkers in EC. A total of twenty-one articles were reviewed after exclusion. Most studies have been done in ESCC, and less in EAC. CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 have been shown in both subtypes as biomarkers. CXCR7, CXCL8 and its receptor CXCR2, and CCL21 and its receptor CCR7 have been examined in ESCC. Although it was a small number of reports, CXCL10, CCL4, and CCL5 have been indicated to have anti-tumor effects in ESCC. Chemokines and their receptors have the potential to be the biomarkers in EC. Comparative studies between ESCC and EAC will reveal the similarity and difference in these two subtypes of EC. These studies may indicate whether these molecules play important roles in both subtypes or are unique to one or another.