Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading cancers worldwide. Surgery is the main therapeutic modality for stage II CRC. However, the implementation of adjuvant chemotherapy remains controversial and is not universally applied so far. In this study, we found that the protein expression of lysosomal acid phosphatase 2 (ACP2) was increased in CRC and that stage II CRC patients with high ACP2 expression showed a poorer outcome than those with low ACP2 expression (p = 0.004). To investigate this discrepancy, we analyzed the relation between ACP2 expression and several clinical cofactors. Among patients who received chemotherapy, those with an high expression of ACP2 showed better survival in both stage II and III CRC than those with low ACP2 expression. In stage II CRC patients, univariate analysis showed ACP2 expression and T stage to be cofactors significantly associated with overall survival (ACP2: p = 0.006; T stage: p = 0.034). Multivariate Cox proportion hazard model analysis also revealed ACP2 to be an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (ACP2: p = 0.006; T stage: p = 0.041). Furthermore, ACP2-knockdown CRC cells showed an increase in chemoresistance to 5-FU treatment and increased proliferation marker in the ACP2 knockdown clone. Taken together, our results suggested that ACP2 is an unfavorable prognostic factor for stage II CRC and may serve as a potential chemotherapy-sensitive marker to help identify a subset of stage II and III CRC patients for whom chemotherapy would improve survival.
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