Background: Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) promotes tumor growth and invasion. Increased ILK expression is correlated with progression of several tumor types, but the expression of ILK has not been investigated in patients with non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs).
Methods: We investigated ILK expression in patients with NSCLC by means of immunohistochemistry.
Results: ILK expression was significantly associated with tumor grade, T status, lymph node metastasis and stage. (p = 0.0169 for tumor grade; p = 0.0006 for T status; p = 0.0002 for lymph node metastasis; p < 0.0001 for stage). The 5-year survival rates for patients with strong and weak or no ILK expression levels were 20% and 59%, respectively: the difference was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). A multivariate analysis of survival revealed that ILK expression, T status, N status and vascular invasion were statistically significant prognostic factors (p = 0.0218 for ILK; p = 0.0046 for T status; p < 0.0001 for N status; p < 0.0001 for vascular invasion).
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that increased expression of ILK is a poor prognostic factor in patients with NSCLC.