Vol 43, No 4 (2005)
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Published online: 2005-12-31

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Survivin antiapoptotic gene expression as a prognostic factor in non-small cell lung cancer: in situ hybridization study.

B Karczmarek-Borowska, A Filip, J Wojcierowski, A Smoleń, I Pilecka, A Jabłonka
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2005;43(4):237-242.


Survivin is an inhibitor of apoptosis that plays a significant role in cell cycle regulation and is important for survival prognosis in many neoplasms. Survivin expression was assessed by in situ hybridization (ISH) in 60 consecutive patients (54 males and 4 females) with NSCLC treated between 1993 and 1997. The examined patients had IIB and IIIA stage according to TNM system. In all cases the chemotherapy with cisplatin and etoposide (2 cycles) was administered prior the surgery; in patients responding to the therapy one more cycle was applied. Survivin gene overexpression was observed in 35 patients (58.3%). There was no correlation between survivin mRNA level and histological type of tumor, stage of cell differentiation, stage of disease according to TNM classification, performance status according to WHO and number of chemotherapy regimens administered (p > 0.05). However, the correlation between survivin gene expression and response to the chemotherapy was statistically significant (p = 0.04). Statistical analysis showed that median survival in patients with survivin gene overexpression was shorter (14.0 months) as compared to patients with no expression (60.0 months; p = 0.00002). In survival assessment by means of Kaplan-Meier test, 14.3% of five-year survival was achieved in the former group versus 60% in the latter (p = 0.00003). Univariate analysis (log-rank test) showed that significant independent prognostic factors in NSCLC included: stage of the disease according to TNM classification (p = 0.006), response to chemotherapy (p = 0.005) and pattern of survivin gene expression (p = 0.00003). Multivariate analysis utilizing Cox's model showed that for survival assessment the stage according to TNM, response to the chemotherapy and survivin expression estimated by means of ISH are of statistical significance (p=0.00001). The calculated predictive values showed that ISH technique was quite accurate in assessment of five-year survival. Our data show that survivin expression may be used as a prognostic factor and a target for therapy.

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