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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Apr 15;10(8):2824-31.

Prognostic value of CD40 in adult soft tissue sarcomas.

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Division of Medical Oncology B, National Cancer Institute, Naples, Italy.



The purpose is to evaluate the expression of CD40, a membrane protein predominantly expressed on B cells, dendritic cells, and macrophages, in a series of adult soft tissue sarcomas and to test its possible prognostic value.


CD40 expression was studied by immunohistochemistry. Correlations with other baseline characteristics of patients and tumors were analyzed with chi(2) test. The prognostic value was studied with univariable and multivariable analysis adjusted by age, sex, tumor size, grade, location, and distant metastases.


Eighty-two patients, between January 1994 and May 2001, were analyzed. Membrane or cytoplasmic staining for CD40 protein was absent in 30% of the tumors but present in <10% of cells in 22 (27%), in 10% to 50% in 23 (28%), and in >50% of cells in 12 (15%) tumors. There was no correlation between CD40 expression and age, sex, size, grade, and location of the primary tumor and distant metastases. With 61 patients (74.4%) progressed and 31 (37.8%) dead, CD40 expression was a significant prognostic factor for disease-free and overall survival at univariable and multivariable analysis. Patients with tumors expressing CD40 in >50% of cells had a dramatically unfavorable prognosis with median disease-free and overall survival of 7 and 17 months, respectively, and hazard ratios of relapse and death as compared with patients with CD40-negative tumors of 2.89 (95% confidence interval: 1.26-6.60) and 6.92 (95% confidence interval: 2.18-22.0), respectively.


These data suggest that expression of CD40 protein in >50% of cells might indicate an unfavorable prognosis in adult soft tissue sarcomas.

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