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Am J Surg Pathol. 2001 Dec;25(12):1520-7.

Platelet-derived growth factor-alpha receptor expression supports the growth of conventional chondrosarcoma and is associated with adverse outcome.

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Department of Clinical Pathology, University of Vienna Medical School, Vienna, Austria.


Bone cells are important targets of platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) because they stimulate proliferation of osteoblasts and chondrocytes. In this study we wanted to determine the expression of PDGF-AA and PDGF-alpha receptor in conventional chondrosarcomas and to compare the results with those obtained from benign enchondromas and non-neoplastic cartilage tissue. Sixty-seven chondrosarcomas, 20 enchondromas, and 5 specimens of healthy cartilage as well as 7 specimens of hypertrophic callus cartilage were immunohistochemically analyzed for the expression of PDGF-AA and PDGF-alpha receptor, respectively. Additionally, the proliferation activity was examined with the MIB-1 antibody. Clinical follow-up data were available from 53 patients. A significant overexpression of receptor and factor was found in chondrosarcomas as compared with enchondromas (PDGF-AA p = 0.013, PDGF-alpha receptor p <0.001). MIB-1 values were significantly higher in chondrosarcomas (p <0.001). In healthy joint cartilage no staining was detectable, whereas reactive cartilage of callus formation showed high expression levels. PDGF-alpha receptor expression was significantly higher in grade 3 chondrosarcomas compared with grade 2 (p = 0.022) and grade 1 tumors (p = 0.002). Survival analysis documented a significantly shorter overall survival for patients with high PDGF-alpha receptor expression (p = 0.0172, log-rank test). Because PDGF-alpha receptor expression positively correlates with the aggressiveness of chondrosarcoma, it may be considered as a possible target for novel therapeutic strategies.

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