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Ann Oncol. 2004 Apr;15(4):613-7.

Chemokine receptor CXCR4 and early-stage non-small cell lung cancer: pattern of expression and correlation with outcome.

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  • 1SOMPS, Pitié Salpetrière Hospital, Paris, France.



The expression of CXCR4 has been implicated in metastatic dissemination in different models of breast cancer and melanoma. In the present study, we evaluated CXCR4 expression in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the relationship between CXCR4 expression and the prognosis of stage I disease.


Using immunohistochemical analysis, we retrospectively analyzed CXCR4 expression in specimens from 61 patients with completely resected pathologically confirmed stage I NSCLC for whom clinical follow-up data were available.


In the present study, we have shown that: CXCR4 is expressed by tumor cells in stage I NSCLC; CXCR4 is located in the nucleus and/or in the cytoplasm of tumor cells; strong nuclear staining was observed in 17 cases (29.8%); patients whose tumors had CXCR4-positive nuclear staining had a significantly longer duration of survival than patients whose tumors had no nuclear expression (P = 0.039, log-rank test). Interestingly, the 5-year metastasis rates were 23.5% and 34.1% in patients with CXCR4-positive and CXCR4-negative nuclear expression, respectively (P = 0.2).


Strong CXCR4-positive nuclear staining was associated with a significantly better outcome in early-stage NSCLC. The mechanisms underlying this clinically and biologically important finding need to be further explored.

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