Prognostic role of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine in patients with solid tumors

Yongchen Ma, Hongbo Chen, Huiying Ma, Zihao Yao, Jianwen Hu, Ju Ma, Xiaoqian Zhang, Guowei Chen, Yucun Liu


Objectives: To analyze the heterogeneous functions of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) from different origins and in different tumor microenvironments with the purpose of determining its clinical significance.


Methods: The PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane, Web of Science and Embase databases were utilized. Studies that focused on the effects of SPARC expression on solid tumor progression and clinical implications were used. The different outcomes including overall survival and disease-free survival were analyzed to evaluate their relations with tumor- and stroma-derived SPARC expression.


Results: A total of 26 studies including 5,939 patients were enrolled in the present meta-analysis. Tumor-derived SPARC overexpression was significantly related with poor overall survival (hazard ratio: 1.478; 95% CI: 1.143-1.910; p=0.003), and a similar tendency was also observed in disease-free survival (hazard ratio: 1.476; 95% CI: 0.993-2.195; p=0.054). However, the hazard ratios for overall survival and disease-free survival did not present a statistical trend in stromal SPARC overexpression. Tumor type subgroup analysis revealed marked heterogeneity among outcomes. In pancreatic cancer, SPARC overexpression in the stroma was significantly associated with poorer overall survival and disease-free survival. In colorectal cancer, SPARC overexpression in the stroma was associated with better disease-free survival.


Conclusion: For the majority of solid tumors, SPARC in cancer cells may be an unfavorable indicator for long-term survival for patients. As for stromal expression, SPARC indicates a poorer prognosis in pancreatic cancer, but a better disease-free survival in colorectal cancer. Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine might be a potential biomarker for solid tumor prognosis.


SPARC; tumor microenvironment; stroma; meta-analysis; prognosis

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