Esophageal cancer is a deadly cancer with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) as the major type. Until now there has been a lack of reliable prognostic markers for this malignancy. This study aims to investigate the clinical correlation between Forkhead box M1 (FoxM1) and patients' parameters in ESCC. Methods Immunohistochemistry was performed to investigate the expression and localization of FoxM1 in 64 ESCC tissues and 10 nontumor esophageal tissues randomly selected from 64 patients before these data were used for clinical correlations. Results Cytoplasmic and nuclear expressions of FoxM1 were found in 63 and 16 of the 64 ESCC tissues, respectively. Low cytoplasmic expression of FoxM1 was correlated with early pathological stage in ESCC (P = 0.018), while patients with nuclear FoxM1 were younger in age than those without nuclear expression (P\0.001). Upregulation of FoxM1 mRNA was found in five ESCC cell lines (HKESC-1, HKESC-2, HKESC-3, HKESC-4, and SLMT-1) when compared to non-neoplastic esophageal squamous cell line NE-1 using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Except for HKESC-3, all studied ESCC cell lines demonstrated a high expression of FoxM1 protein using immunoblot. A high mRNA level of FoxM1 was observed in all of the ESCC tissues examined when compared to their adjacent nontumor tissues using qPCR. Conclusion Cytoplasmic FoxM1 was correlated with pathological stage and might be a biomarker for advanced ESCC.
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