Nuclear survivin predicts recurrence and poor survival in patients with resected nonsmall cell lung carcinoma

Cancer. 2005 Apr 15;103(8):1685-92. doi: 10.1002/cncr.20951.


Background: Survivin, which is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein gene family, regulates both programmed cell death and mitosis. It has been shown that survivin expression and its subcellular localization both have prognostic value for patients with malignant disease. In this study, the authors investigated whether nuclear or cytoplasmic staining of survivin was a prognostic marker for patients with lung carcinoma.

Methods: Paraffin-embedded tissue blocks from 144 patients with Stage I and II resected nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) were obtained for immunohistochemical staining. Three specimens from each patient were prepared and stained with a survivin-specific antibody. Nuclear and cytoplasmic staining was graded from 1 to 3 based on intensity.

Results: Patients who had nuclear staining for survivin had a significantly increased risk of disease recurrence (hazard ratio, 2.95; P = 0.0046) and death (hazard ratio, 2.74; P = 0.0086).

Conclusions: The nuclear presence of survivin may be an independent biomarker for disease recurrence and overall survival in patients with resected Stage I and II NSCLC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Survivin


  • BIRC5 protein, human
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Survivin