The overexpression of tetraspanin CD151 - a transmembrane protein that promotes tumor invasion and metastasis - is associated with poor prognosis in various cancers. However, its clinical significance in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) has not been fully elucidated. We investigated CD151 expression status by immunohistochemical analysis in paraffin-embedded specimens obtained from 380 patients with surgically resected NSCLCs (245 squamous cell carcinomas [SCCs] and 135 adenocarcinomas [ADCs]) between 1994 and 2001. High CD151 expression was detected in 28.7% NSCLCs (20.8% of SCCs and 42.9% of ADCs) and was significantly associated with male gender, smokers, and ADCs. Moreover, elevated CD151 levels were correlated with reduced overall (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS), and were an independent negative prognostic factor for OS in NSCLC. According to histological type, high CD151 expression was an independent prognostic factor for lower OS in ADC, although not in each subtype, and the elevated CD151 expression levels were more common in solid-predominant tumors (48.3%). In contrast, there was no prognostic correlation in SCC. High CD151 expression appeared to correlate with aggressive behavior in NSCLC, suggesting that it may be a useful prognostic marker for lung ADC patients and a potential molecular target for NSCLC treatment.
- Lung cancer
- Squamous cell carcinoma