Background: This study is designed to assess molecular biologic substaging according to gender and histology in patients with stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods: Pathologic specimens were collected from 408 consecutive patients after complete resection for stage I NSCLC, with follow-up of at least 5 years. A panel of nine molecular markers was chosen for immunohistochemical analysis of the tumor: recessive oncogenes p53 and bcl-2, the protooncogene erbB-2, KI-67 proliferation index, retinoblastoma oncogene (Rb), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr), angiogenesis factor viii, sialyl-Tn antigen (STN), and CD-44. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to construct a risk model for cancer-specific survival according to marker status, gender, and histologic subtype.
Results: Among men, the only molecular marker associated with decreased cancer-specific survival is erbB-2; among women, there are four markers: p53, Rb, CD-44, and factor viii. Among patients with squamous cell carcinoma, the only molecular marker associated with decreased cancer-specific survival is erbB-2; among patients with adenocarcinoma (AC), there are three markers: p53, CD-44, and factor viii. Multivariable analysis of interactions among molecular markers, gender, and histology demonstrates two important relationships (hazard ratio): p53+/women (2.269) and CD-44+/AC (2.266).
Conclusions: Molecular biologic substaging of patients with stage I NSCLC demonstrates differential cancer-specific survival according to marker expression, gender, and histologic subtype.