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Hum Pathol. 1999 Jul;30(7):788-94.

The expression of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in tumor-associated stromal cells and vessels is inversely correlated with non-small cell lung cancer progression.

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Institute of Lung Pathophysiology, National Research Council, Palermo, Italy.


Tumor progression results from complex interactions between tumor and tumor-associated host tissue. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), via activation of its receptor, FGFR-1, has been postulated to be an important inducer of host stromal response and angiogenesis. To assess the putative role of tumor-associated stromal cells and vessels in tumor progression, we studied non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from 84 patients, including 51 squamous cell carcinomas and 33 nonsquamous cell carcinomas, by immunohistochemical detection. bFGF and FGFR-1 immunoreactivity was observed in tumor and in tumor-associated stromal cells and vessels. The expression of bFGF and FGFR-1 in stromal cells was higher in squamous than in non-squamous cell carcinomas (respectively, P = .007 and P = .0004). We found that bFGF and FGFR-1 expression in tumor and tumor-associated stromal cells and vessels was directly correlated with host stromal response, as assessed by intratumoral extension of stroma, but not with angiogenic response, as assessed by microvessel count. Although FGFR-1 expression of tumor cells was directly correlated with T-stage (P = .03), bFGF expressions of tumor-associated stromal cells and vessels were inversely correlated with lymph node metastasis (respectively, P = .0001 and P = .0002) and advanced pathological stage (respectively, P = .03 and P = .01). These findings suggest that bFGF might mediate host stromal response in NSCLC and that the expression of bFGF in tumor-associated stromal cells and vessels might have an inhibitory role in NSCLC progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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