Prognostic impact of cancer stem cell-related markers in non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with induction chemoradiotherapy

Kazuhiko Shien, Shinichi Toyooka, Kouichi Ichimura, Junichi Soh, Masashi Furukawa, Yuho Maki, Takayuki Muraoka, Norimitsu Tanaka, Tsuyoshi Ueno, Hiroaki Asano, Kazunori Tsukuda, Masaomi Yamane, Takahiro Oto, Katsuyuki Kiura, Shinichiro Miyoshi
Lung Cancer: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2012, 77 (1): 162-7
The expression of several cancer stem cell (CSC)-related markers has been confirmed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of this study was to clarify the clinical role of CSC-related markers in patients with NSCLC undergoing induction chemoradiotherapy (CRT). Fifty patients with clinically diagnosed N2 or N3 NSCLC who underwent induction CRT with docetaxel and cisplatin concurrently with thoracic radiation followed by surgery were examined in this study. The expressions of CSC related markers (CD133, ALDH1, ABCG2, and Bmi-1) were examined using immunohistochemical staining in surgically resected specimens. Among the 50 patients, 20 patients had no residual tumor cells in the resected specimen when examined pathologically; CSC-related marker expressions and their correlation to survival were evaluated in the other 30 patients. After a median follow-up period of 72 months, the 5-year overall survival rate of the patients with CD133-positive or ALDH1-positive specimens was significantly worse than that of the patients with both CD133-negative and ALDH1-negative expressions (44.9% vs. 90.0%, respectively; P = 0.042). In a multivariate analysis, CD133 and ALDH1 negativity (P = 0.047) and cN2-3 single station metastasis (P = 0.03) were significant independent prognostic factors for prolonged survival. The expressions of CSC-related markers after CRT were significantly correlated with a poor prognosis in patients with NSCLC. The development of therapeutic strategies including adjuvant therapy that take CSC-related marker positivity into consideration is likely to be a key factor in further improvements of the prognosis of patients undergoing trimodality therapy.

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