Purpose: pRb2/p130, a member of the Retinoblastoma gene family, has been shown to be a powerful prognostic factor in several malignancies. We sought to evaluate pRb2/p130 protein expression and its clinical effect in patients affected with soft tissue sarcomas (STS).
Experimental design: Expression of pRb2/p130 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections in 41 STSs. Results obtained were correlated with clinicopathologic variables and disease-free and overall survival (OS) in univariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: Expression of pRb2/p130 was diminished in 25 (61%) tumors, whereas the remaining ones (39%) were classified as high expressors. No correlation between pRb2/p130 expression and clinicopathologic variables was observed. However, a direct relationship between pRb2/p130 expression and clinical outcome of the patients was found in the subgroup of nonmetastatic tumors (n = 31). In univariate analysis, reduced pRb2/p130 expression was a negative prognostic factor and correlated with shorter disease-free survival (P = 0.021) and OS (P = 0.017) survival. In multivariate analysis, reduced pRb2/p130 expression was confirmed to be an independent predictor of shorter OS when considered together with tumor stage and grading (risk ratio, 7.893; confidence interval, 1.618-38.509; P = 0.011).
Conclusions: This study shows for the first time the potential prognostic value of pRb2/130 expression evaluated on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections in STSs patients. pRb2/p130 immunoreactivity can be used to predict OS in patients with nonmetastatic STSs and, therefore, may represent a new prognostic marker.