Prognostic significance of different biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer

Oncol Rep. 1999 Jul-Aug;6(4):819-25. doi: 10.3892/or.6.4.819.


The purpose of our study was to examine the prognostic significance of different biomarkers [DNA content, proliferating cell nuclear antigen labeling index (PCNA-LI), p53 mutation and apoptosis], in 152 surgically resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The ploidy was carried out by densitometry; PCNA-LI, p53 and apoptosis were determined with immunohistochemistry. The results were correlated to histology, stage and patient survival. A considerable variability of the PCNA indices, ranging from 0 to 33.5% with a mean value of 7.0%, was found. DNA evaluation showed a prevalence of aneuploid tumors (62%) with a DNA index >1. Overexpression of p53 protein and apoptotic positivity were observed in low percentages of cases (16% and 32% respectively). Only stage and PCNA-LI were found to be significant prognostic factors on multivariate analysis. PCNA was superior to stage in predicting shortened survival of patients with NSCLC. PCNA immunostaining can be applied on a routine basis in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples of NSCLC to predict patient prognosis and thus to identify patients in need of additional postoperative therapies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Ploidies
  • Prognosis
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / analysis
  • Survival Rate
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53