The combination of stem cell markers CD133 and ABCG2 predicts relapse in stage I non-small cell lung carcinomas

Feng Li, Huazong Zeng, Kejing Ying
Medical Oncology 2011, 28 (4): 1458-62
The aim of the study was to investigate the expression of two cancer stem cell markers CD133 and ATP-binding cassette superfamily G member 2 (ABCG2) in non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) and evaluate their prognostic values for postoperative relapse. The expression levels of CD133 and ABCG2 in 145 stage I NSCLC tumors were detected by immunohistochemistry. Positive CD133 and ABCG2 expression was defined in 31.7 and 37.9% of the NSCLC tumors, respectively. Both stem markers alone did not correlate with any of the clinicopathological characteristics and were insufficient to predict recurrence after surgery. However, our results showed that the dual expression of CD133 and ABCG2 (CD133+/ABCG2+) status was an independent predictor of postoperative recurrence for patients with stage I NSCLC. Furthermore, CD133+/ABCG2+ NSCLC tumors (33 cases, 22.8%) had a significantly higher microvessel density and higher expression levels of angiogenic factors than the other subgroups. In conclusion, this study suggests that NSCLC patients with the dual expression of CD133 and ABCG2 have a high risk of early relapse and might benefit from anti-angiogenesis therapy.

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