Clinical value of octamer-binding transcription factor 4 as a prognostic marker in patients with digestive system cancers: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Background and Aim:

The role of octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) has been implicated in the clinical prognosis of various kinds of digestive system cancers, but the results remain controversial. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to assess the potential role of Oct4 as a prognostic marker in digestive system tumors.


Relevant articles were retrieved from Pubmed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library up to July 2016. The software Stata 12.0 was used to analyze the outcomes, including overall survival (OS), disease-free survival, recurrence-free survival, and clinicopathological characteristics.


A total of 13 eligible studies with 1538 patients were included. Elevated Oct4 expression was significantly associated with poor OS (pooled hazard ratio [HR] = 2.183, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.824–2.612), disease-free survival (pooled HR = 1.973, 95% CI: 1.538–2.532), and recurrence-free survival (pooled HR = 2.209, 95% CI: 1.461–3.338) of digestive system malignancies. Subgroup analyses showed that cancer type, sample size, study quality, and laboratory detection method did not alter the significant prognostic value of Oct4. Additionally, Oct4 expression was found to be an independent predictive factor for OS (HR = 2.068, 95% CI: 1.633–2.619). No significant association was found between Oct4 and clinicopathological features of digestive system malignancies.


This study provided evidence of Oct4 and/or its closely related homolog protein as a predictive factor for patients with digestive system cancers. More large-scale clinical studies on the prognostic value of Oct4 are warranted.

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