To detect the expression level of HOTAIR in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and further investigate its associations with the pathological stage, computed tomography (CT) characteristics and prognosis of these patients.
The expression level of HOTAIR was assessed in normal tissues and thyroid cancer tissues of PTC patients and nodular goiter tissues of patients with nodular goiter via reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Additionally, the relations of HOTAIR expression level with the clinicopathological features, CT characteristics and prognosis of PTC patients were analyzed. Finally, Western blotting was employed to detect the protein expression level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the normal tissues, thyroid cancer tissues and nodular goiter tissues.
The expression level of HOTAIR was notably higher in the thyroid cancer tissues than in the normal tissues and nodular goiter tissues (p<0.05). The high expression of HOTAIR was significantly correlated with tumor size, depth of invasion, lymph node metastasis, TNM stage and distant metastasis (p<0.05). Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that factors such as tumor size, TNM stage, lymph node metastasis and distant metastasis had statistical significance. CT imaging showed that the high expression of HOTAIR had obvious associations with tumor density, shape, strengthening residual circle and calcification (p<0.05). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that the 7-year survival of PTC patients with a low expression of HOTAIR was clearly better than that of those with a high HOTAIR expression. Lastly, it was found that the protein expression of VEGF was higher in the thyroid cancer tissues than that in the normal tissues and nodular goiter tissues (p<0.05). Besides, the expression of VEGF in the thyroid cancer tissues was remarkably higher in PTC patients with a high expression of HOTAIR than in those with a low HOTAIR expression (p<0.05).
The expression level of HOTAIR is distinctly increased in PTC tissues and has a positive correlation with the pathological stage and poor prognosis of patients. HOTAIR can serve as a diagnostic or prognostic marker for patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma.