Ki67 labelling index: an independent predictor of progression in prostate cancer treated by radical prostatectomy

J Pathol. 1996 Apr;178(4):437-41. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9896(199604)178:4<437::AID-PATH484>3.0.CO;2-4.


The clinical course of prostate cancer is highly variable and cannot satisfactorily be predicted by histological criteria alone. Both tumour cell proliferation and neuroendocrine differentiation have been suggested as additional prognostic parameters, neuroendocrine differentiation being considered to enhance tumour cell proliferation. This study investigated the prognostic value of tumour cell proliferation [Ki67 labelling index (LI), MIB 1] and neuroendocrine differentiation and their relationship to each other. One hundred and thirty-seven paraffin-embedded radical prostatectomy specimens were examined. Neuroendocrine differentiation was found in 58 per cent of cases, but was not associated with pTN stage, Gleason score, Ki67 LI, or tumour progression. Ki67 LI was not significantly associated with pTN stage or with Gleason score. High grade (P = 0.0005), advanced local stage (P = 0.0004), positive lymph nodes (P = 0.02), and high Ki67 LI (P = 0.0203) were predictors of tumour progression if univariate analysis was performed, but Cox stepwise regression showed that only advanced local stage (P = 0.0025) and Ki67 LI (P = 0.0105) were independent predictors of tumour progression, the relative risk being 3.6 and 2.5, respectively. It is concluded that Ki67 is an important prognostic marker in prostate cancer with a potential for routine application.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatectomy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins