Neuroendocrine differentiation is an independent prognostic factor in chemotherapy-treated nonsmall cell lung carcinoma.
BACKGROUND: Neuroendocrine differentiation can be identified in 10-30% of patients with nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) by immunohistochemical or electron microscopic techniques. However, its clinical significance is not well established. METHODS: Tumors from 107 patients with Stage IIIA, IIIB, and IV NSCLC treated with cisplatin/etoposide with or without hydrazine in the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and Mayo Clinic protocols were analyzed immunohistochemically with antibodies to chromogranin A (CGA), Leu 7 (CD 57), and synaptophysin (SY). These results were compared with clinical outcomes. RESULTS: Keratin AE1/AE3, used as a control, was positive in 99.1% of cases; 34.6% had positive staining for at least 1 neuroendocrine marker, and 11.3% had positive staining for 2 or more markers. CGA was positive in 4.7%, Leu 7 in 18.7%, and SY in 24.3% of cases. A significant increase in survival was seen in patients with tumors expressing any one neuroendocrine marker or any combination of neuroendocrine markers (P < or = 0.01). There was no correlation between the presence of neuroendocrine differentiation and either response to chemotherapy or time to disease progression (P > 0.3), nor was there any correlation between chemotherapy response, time to progression, or survival with staining intensity or percent of cells positive per case. CONCLUSIONS: Neuroendocrine differentiation may be of prognostic significance in patients with advanced stage NSCLC treated with chemotherapy.
Schleusener, JT; Tazelaar, HD; Jung, SH; Cha, SS; Cera, PJ; Myers, JL; Creagan, ET; Goldberg, RM; Marschke, RF
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