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Lung Cancer. 2000 Jan;27(1):19-26.

Prognostic impact of cathepsin B and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in pulmonary adenocarcinomas by immunohistochemical study.

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First Department of Surgery, Nagasaki University, Sakamoto, Japan.


The expression of Cathepsin B (CB) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in extirpated tissues of adenocarcinomas in non-small cell lung cancer from 90 cases was investigated immunohistologically, and the correlations between the extent of the expression and the clinicopathological features were assessed for investigating the process of tumor metastasis. It is important to reveal the mechanisms of destruction of the basal membrane and infiltration of tumor cells at the primary lesion. Sections were obtained from 10%-formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues. They were reacted with an anti-human CB polyclonal antibody or an anti-human MMP-9 polyclonal antibody. Of 90 patients, 58 (64.4%) and 39 (48.3) cases were found to be positive for CB and MMP-9 expression, respectively. A significantly higher extent of the CB expression was observed in the tissues of patients who showed postoperative recurrence of the tumor (P = 0.013). Especially, a similar observation was obtained among early cases of T1N0 (P = 0.023). In contrast, no such tendency was demonstrated in the expression profile of MMP-9. Furthermore, the enzyme expressions were compared among different types of metastases. Patients with higher extents of CB expression tended to show significantly higher rates of hematogenous and intrapulmonary metastases (P = 0.023 and P = 0.010, respectively). However, there was no significant correlation between MMP-9 expression and the prognostic factor of the patients. Therefore, we suggested that evaluation of CB expression in the tumor tissue might be useful as a postoperative prognostic factor of pulmonary adenocarcinoma. Especially, early cancer of T1N0 cases showing higher expression of CB may need postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy.

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