DOI: 10.3390/cancers15174322 ISSN:

Active Autophagy Is Associated with Favorable Outcome in Patients with Surgically Resected Cholangiocarcinoma

Katrin Bankov, Falko Schulze, Steffen Gretser, Henning Reis, Nada Abedin, Fabian Finkelmeier, Jörg Trojan, Stefan Zeuzem, Andreas A. Schnitzbauer, Dirk Walter, Peter J. Wild, Maximilian N. Kinzler
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Data on the impact of autophagy in primary cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) remain scarce. Here, we therefore investigated the role of active autophagy and its impact on survival in CCA patients. All CCA patients who underwent surgical resection with curative intent between 08/2005 and 12/2021 at University Hospital Frankfurt were evaluated. Autophagic key proteins were studied by immunohistochemistry. iCCA processed for gene expression profiling of immune-exhaustion gene sets was used for an autophagy approach in silico. Active autophagy was present in 23.3% of the 172 CCA patients. Kaplan–Meier curves revealed median OS of 68.4 months (95% CI = 46.9–89.9 months) and 32.7 months (95% CI = 23.6–41.8 months) for active and non-active autophagy, respectively (p ≤ 0.001). In multivariate analysis, absence of active autophagy (HR = 2, 95% CI = 1.1–3.5, p = 0.015) was an independent risk factor for OS. Differential-expression profiling revealed significantly upregulated histone deacetylases (HDAC) mRNA in patients showing non-active autophagy. In line with this, pan-acetylated lysine was significantly more prominent in CCA patients with ongoing autophagy (p = 0.005). Our findings strengthen the role of active autophagy as a prognostically relevant marker and a potential therapeutic target.

More from our Archive