Background: On the basis of our recent findings of oncogenic KRAS-induced interleukin-8 (IL-8) overexpression in non-small cell lung cancer, we assessed the clinicopathological and prognostic significances of IL-8 expression and its relationship to KRAS mutations in lung adenocarcinomas.
Methods: IL-8 expression was examined by quantitative RT-PCR using 136 of surgical specimens from lung adenocarcinoma patients. The association between IL-8 expression, clinicopathological features, KRAS or EGFR mutation status and survival was analysed.
Results: IL-8 was highly expressed in tumours from elderly patients or smokers and in tumours with pleural involvement or vascular invasion. In a non-smokers' subgroup, IL-8 level positively correlated with age. IL-8 was highly expressed in tumours with KRAS mutations compared with those with EGFR mutations or wild-type EGFR/KRAS. Lung adenocarcinoma patients with high IL-8 showed significantly shorter disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) than those with low IL8. DFS and OS were significantly shorter in the patients with mutant KRAS/high IL-8 than in those with wild-type KRAS/low IL-8. Cox regression analyses demonstrated that elevated IL-8 expression correlated with unfavourable prognosis.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that IL-8 expression is associated with certain clinicopathological features including age and is a potent prognostic marker in lung adenocarcinoma, especially in oncogenic KRAS-driven adenocarcinoma.