Background: Pleural malignant mesothelioma (PMM) is a rare and highly aggressive tumor, whose development is strictly related to occupational exposure to asbestos. The prognosis of PMM is generally poor (median survival, 4-12 months), but a few have a relatively long survival. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of the cell cycle-related proteins p27(kip1) and MIB-1 as prognostic indicators of survival in PMMs.
Methods: Of 621 PMMs, the authors selected 27 cases with a relatively long-term survival (> 24 months) and a control group of 36 PMMs having a shorter (usual) survival (< 24 months).
Results: The expression of the p27(kip1) was significantly higher in the long-term survival group compared with the control (short survival) group (81.41% vs. 31.94%; P < 0.0001). The PMMs of epithelioid histotype had a significantly higher p27(kip1) immunoreactivity compared with those of biphasic type (59.24% vs. 38.94%; P = 0.02). In agreement with the data in the literature, the proliferative activity (as detected by MIB-1 immunoreactivity) was significantly higher in short than long survival PMMs (43.53% vs. 14.11%; P < 0.0001) and in the biphasic histotype than in the epithelioid type (43.19% vs. 26.02%; P = 0.006).
Conclusions: The combined expression of high/low p27(kip1) and low/high Ki-67 values identified with 100% specificity and sensitivity long versus short survivors. p27(kip1) represents a reliable additional predictive factor for PMMs and a useful marker to identify patients having a more favorable prognosis.
Copyright 2001 American Cancer Society.