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Am J Clin Pathol. 2002 Mar;117(3):484-90.

Nephroblastoma: multidrug-resistance P-glycoprotein expression in tumor cells and intratumoral capillary endothelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital-Research Institute, Rome, Italy.


The development of chemoresistance in a variety of cancers seems related to overexpression of the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) drug pump. Nephroblastoma, the most common malignant renal tumor of childhood, usually is responsive to treatment, and prognosis is favorable in most cases. However, the disease in a subset of patients is refractory to treatment, and the disease follows an aggressive course. To study P-gp expression in this tumor and its correlation with outcome, tumor samples from 93 patients were examined by immunohistochemical analysis. P-gp expression was determined separately in both tumor cells and intratumoral capillary endothelium. The likelihood ratio test, the Kaplan-Meier method, and the log-rank test were used to evaluate its association with clinical course, grade, stage, and administration of preoperative chemotherapy. The results for the majority of nephroblastomas were variably positive; in 43 (46%) of them, newly formed capillary endothelial cells also stained positive. While no association of P-gp expression in tumor cells with clinical course, stage, and grade could be demonstrated, positivity in endothelial cells correlated significantly with unfavorable outcome, suggesting that chemoresistance depended on an active blood-tumor barrier. Previous chemotherapy induced P-gp overexpression in tumor cells.

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