Background Reactive oxygen species modulator-1 (Romo1) is a novel protein that has been reported to be crucial for cancer cell proliferation and invasion. However, its clinical implications in colorectal cancer patients are not well-known. For the first time, we investigated the association between Romo1 and the clinical outcomes of colorectal cancer patients. Study We examined Romo1 expression in resected tumor tissues immunohistochemically and assessed it with histological scores. We conducted survival analyses for patients who had curative resection (n = 190) in accordance with clinical parameters including level of Romo1 expression, and we examined the association between Romo1 expression and cell invasion using Matrigel invasion assay in colorectal cancer cells. Results We observed significantly longer mean disease-free survival in the low Romo1 group compared with the high Romo1 group (161 vs 127.6 months, p = 0.035), and the median overall survival of the low Romo1 group was significantly longer than that of the high Romo1 group (196.9 vs 171.3 months, p = 0.036). Cell invasiveness decreased in the Romo1 knockdown colorectal cancer cells in contrast to the controlled cells. Romo1 overexpression in tumor tissue was associated with a high lymph node ratio between the metastatic and examined lymph nodes (p = 0.025). Conclusions Romo1 overexpression in tumor tissue was significantly associated with survival in curatively resected colorectal cancer patients, suggesting Romo1 expression as a potential adverse prognostic marker. Increased Romo1 expression was found to be associated with high lymph node ratio. Cancer invasiveness appeared to be a key reason for the poor survival related to highly expressed Romo1.
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