Survivin and Smac gene expressions but not livin are predictors of prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy following surgery

Chun-Hua Dai, Jian Li, Shun-Bing Shi, Li-Chao Yu, Li-Ping Ge, Ping Chen
Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology 2010, 40 (4): 327-35

OBJECTIVE: Survivin and livin, which are members of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein family, regulate both programmed cell death and proliferation. Second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase is thought to regulate apoptosis by antagonizing inhibitor of apoptosis protein. These gene expressions are regarded as prognostic markers in some malignancies. However, result in previous studies of the association of these gene expressions with prognosis of patients with non-small cell lung cancer remains contradictory.

METHODS: Survivin, livin and second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase mRNA was detected by semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in surgical resected tumor specimen from 66 non-small cell lung patients who received adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy.

RESULTS: Results showed that patients with survivin high expression had significantly shorter tumor-free survival (P = 0.012) and overall survival (P = 0.007) than those with survivin low expression. There was a significant association of second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase high expression in non-small cell lung cancer tissue with longer tumor-free survival (P = 0.021) and overall survival (P = 0.0013). However, livin mRNA expression level had no impact on the tumor-free survival and overall survival of the patients. In multivariate analyses, survivin mRNA high expression (P = 0.033 and P = 0.024) and advanced pathologic stage (P = 0.009 and P = 0.008) were the factors which independently predicted a worse tumor-free survival and overall survival.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that assessment of survivin and second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase mRNA expression may be useful for predicting survival in non-small cell lung cancer patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy after surgical resection and can provide valuable information for deciding better therapy strategy.

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