Nuclear accumulation of basic fibroblast growth factor in human astrocytic tumors

Cancer. 2003 Jun 15;97(12):3061-7. doi: 10.1002/cncr.11450.


Background: The authors recently reported that nuclear accumulation of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) demonstrated a significant correlation with recurrence of pituitary adenomas. The current study sought to determine whether nuclear bFGF accumulation was a predictor of survival in patients with astrocytic tumors.

Methods: The authors examined 52 patients with primary astrocytic tumors. Immunohistochemical assays for bFGF, fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1), and proliferating cell nuclear antigen were performed. Immunoreactivity of bFGF in nuclei was recorded in terms of the bFGF nuclear index (NI), which was calculated as the percentage of tumor cells with nuclear immunoreactivity. Western blot analysis of bFGF in nuclear fractions was performed.

Results: The bFGF NI had a mean value of 35.1% and was < 30% (low NI) in 27 patients and >or= 30% (high NI) in 25 patients. In all cases, FGFR1 immunoreactivity was observed in the cytoplasm but not in the nucleus. Western blot analysis indicated that the nuclear fractions from tumor specimens with high NI contained high-molecular-weight bFGF. Univariate analyses showed that age, tumor histology, gender, and bFGF NI were significantly correlated with patient survival. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that NI had the greatest influence (P = 0.0073) on survival rate, compared with age (P = 0.0083) and gender (P = 0.0492). Compared with low NI, high NI was associated with a relative risk of 3.292.

Conclusions: The findings of the current study suggest that bFGF NI may be a useful predictor of survival in patients with astrocytic tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Astrocytoma / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis


  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2