Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α expression in colorectal carcinoma

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Evaluation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) immunohistochemical expression in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and correlation of its expression with various clinicopathological parameters.

Materials and methods

This retrospective study was conducted on 45 cases of CRC, including 35 (77.8%) cases with adenocarcinoma and 10 (22.2%) cases with mucinous carcinoma (defined as tumors showing extracellular mucinous pools in ≥50% of the tumor tissue). A total score of HIF-1α expression was obtained by multiplying the score of staining intensity and score of the percentage of positively stained cells to obtain a score ranging from 0 up to 12.


Positive HIF-1α expression was detected in 26 (57.8%) cases. There were significant correlations between HIF-1α expression and tumor invasiveness (T) (P=0.034) and modified Dukes’ classification (P=0.049). Higher frequency of HIF-1α expression was associated with the presence of lymph-node metastasis and the presence of lymphovascular emboli but with no statistically significant correlation. There was no significant correlation between HIF-1α expression and age, sex, size, site, histological type, histological grade, or perineural invasion among the studied cases.


HIF-1α immunohistochemical expression is significantly correlated with tumor invasiveness (T) and modified Dukes’ classification that suggests the possible role of HIF-1α in tumor invasion, metastasis, and as a prognostic marker for prediction of the behavior of CRC cases.

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