Background: The overexpression of hippo pathway transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) occurs in a variety of human cancers, but published studies on the prognostic value of TAZ expression in cancer patients remain controversial.
Objectives: To clarify the prognosis of TAZ with overall survival (OS) and its association with clinicopathological characteristics.
Methods: We performed a systematic literature search via PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science from inception to 1 December 2015 for eligible studies. We selected published studies investigating the association between TAZ and survival and extracted data from each eligible study. We considered the hazard ratio (HR), odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) to evaluate the associations in meta-analysis, we used I2 to assess heterogeneity across studies and Egger’s test and Begg’s funnel plot to assess publication bias.
Results: The meta-analysis analysed 15 studies (2881 participants). Pooled results show high TAZ was significantly associated with poor OS (HR 1.82, 95%CI 1.58 to 2.11; I2 33%, P < 0.11) (Fig 1). We performed subgroup analysis between TAZ and OS. When participants were stratified according to ethnicity, sample size, sample source and staining location, high TAZ was significantly correlated with OS. However, when grouped on basis of cancer type, higher expression of TAZ yielded a worse OS in HCC (HR 2.26, 95% CI1.43 to 3.57; P 0.49) and digestive system cancer(HR 2.00, 95% CI 1.54 to 2.58; P 0.97), but not in NSCLC (HR 1.71, 95% CI 0.93 to 3.14; P 0.08) (Table 1). Investigation of the association between TAZ overexpression and clinicopathological characteristics of cancer patients found that increased TAZ expression was significantly associated with TNM stage (OR 2.56, 95% CI 1.60 to 4.11; P 0.52), tumor differentiation(OR 3.08, 95% CI 1.25 to 7.63; P 0.01), and lymph node metastasis (OR 2.53, 95% CI 1.81 to 3.53; P 0.58).
Conclusions: Overexpression of TAZ may be a predictive factor of poor prognosis, and also associated with worse TNM stage, tumor differentiation and lymph node metastasis in cancer patients.