Supplementary Material for: Low Expression of Transforming Growth Factor Beta-1 in Cancer Tissue Predicts a Poor Prognosis for Patients with Stage III Rectal Cancers

<b><i>Objective:</i></b> Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) plays an important role in tumorigenesis and metastasis. It works as a tumor suppressor in the normal colon, but acts as a cancer promoter during the late stages of colorectal carcinogenesis. High expression of TGF-β is known to be associated with advanced stages, tumor recurrence and decreased survival of patients. We investigated the expression of TGF-β and its signaling axis molecules and evaluated their prognostic significance in patients with stage III rectal cancers. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Tissues from 201 cases of stage III rectal cancer were subjected to immunohistochemistry for TGF-β1, type II TGF-β receptor, Smad3, Smad4 and Smad7 proteins. The immunoactivities of these molecules were evaluated and the results were compared with clinicopathological variables including patient survival. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Low expression of TGF-β1 protein was correlated with a decreased disease-free survival in univariate Kaplan-Meier (p = 0.003) and multivariate Cox regression (HR 9.188 and 95% CI 1.256-67.198, p = 0.029) analyses. The loss of Smad4 protein expression was associated with a reduction in disease-free survival in the univariate analysis, but this finding was not significant after the multivariate analysis. <b><i>Conclusion:</i></b> Low expression of TGF-β1 protein is associated with a poor prognosis for patients with stage III rectal cancers.