Ki67 is a promising molecular target in the diagnosis of cancer (review)

Mol Med Rep. 2015 Mar;11(3):1566-72. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2014.2914. Epub 2014 Nov 10.


The expression of Ki67 is strongly associated with tumor cell proliferation and growth, and is widely used in routine pathological investigation as a proliferation marker. The nuclear protein Ki67 (pKi67) is an established prognostic and predictive indicator for the assessment of biopsies from patients with cancer. Clinically, pKi67 has been shown to correlate with metastasis and the clinical stage of tumors. In addition, it has been shown that Ki67 expression is significantly higher malignant tissues with poorly differentiated tumor cells, as compared with normal tissue. According to its predictive role, pKi67 expression identifies subpopulations of patients who are more likely to respond to a given therapy. The Ki67 labeling index is an independent prognostic factor for survival rate, which includes all stages and grade categories. There is a correlation between the ratio of Ki67‑positive malignant cells and patient survival. It has been shown that blocking of Ki67 either by microinjection of antibodies or through the use of antisense oligonucleotides leads to the arrest of cell proliferation. Specifically, antisense oligonucleotides and antibodies against pKi67 have been shown to inhibit the progression of the cell cycle. The Ki67 protein is well characterized at the molecular level and is extensively used as a prognostic and predictive marker for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Increasing evidence indicates that Ki67 may be an effective target in cancer therapy. It therefore merits further development, including testing in more sophisticated in vitro and appropriate in vivo models. This review provides an overview of recent advances in this field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor*
  • Humans
  • Ki-67 Antigen / genetics
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Ki-67 Antigen