Increased expression of N-myc in human small cell lung cancer biopsies predicts lack of response to chemotherapy and poor prognosis

Am J Clin Pathol. 1987 Aug;88(2):216-20. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/88.2.216.


Amplified and increased expression of the myc family of protooncogenes (c- and N-myc) has been described to be associated with rapid proliferation in a number of cell lines, including small cell lung cancer (SCLC). In SCLC, c-myc was demonstrated to be amplified in a subset of SCLC cell lines denoted as variant type, which show a more aggressive way of growth in vitro. The N-myc oncogene, which has extensive homology in the second exon with c-myc, has been shown to be implicated in the oncogenesis of several primary tumors, including SCLC. The authors describe, using in situ hybridization, that increased expression of the N-myc oncogenes in primary biopsies from 15 untreated patients with SCLC are strongly associated with poor response to chemotherapy, rapid tumor growth, and short survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / mortality
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogenes*