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Ann Thorac Surg. 1999 Mar;67(3):810-4.

MUC1 mucin mRNA expression in stage I lung adenocarcinoma and its association with early recurrence.

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  • 1Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences and Department of Surgery II, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, Kitakyushu, Japan.



MUC1 is a membrane-bound mucin with an extensively O-glycosylated core protein and is developmentally regulated and aberrantly expressed by carcinomas. A high level of MUC1 mucin expression and secretion is associated with high metastatic potential and a poor prognosis. We studied the expression of MUC1 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) in stage I lung adenocarcinoma by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and examined its correlation with early recurrence.


The expression of MUC1 mRNA, in surgical specimens from 33 patients with stage I lung adenocarcinoma was determined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The MUC1 and beta-actin sequences were subsequently coamplified to analyze the semiquantitative determination by polymerase chain reaction. The ratio of MUC1 to beta-actin product was used for further analysis.


An analysis of the disease-free survival (median follow-up, 33.4 months) revealed that a high expression of MUC1 was associated with early recurrence (p = 0.0191). Six of the 33 patients had recurrence within 2 years after operation. The recurrence sites suggested hematogenic metastasis.


Our results indicate that MUC1 mRNA level may be useful as a marker of early recurrence in stage I lung adenocarcinoma.

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