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J Pathol. 2004 Sep;204(1):110-8.

Expression of keratinocyte growth factor/fibroblast growth factor-7 and its receptor in human lung cancer: correlation with tumour proliferative activity and patient prognosis.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Translational Medical Sciences, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Nagasaki, Japan.


Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF)/fibroblast growth factor-7 (FGF-7), a mesenchymal cell-derived paracrine growth factor that specifically stimulates epithelial cell proliferation, has been implicated in the repair of lung tissue. The present study was designed to determine the expression and role of KGF and its receptor (KGFR) in human lung cancer tissues, particularly in relation to cancer cell kinetics and prognosis. Thirty-one adenocarcinomas and 30 squamous cell carcinomas, and ten normal lung tissues as a control, were examined. The expression of KGF and KGFR proteins was examined using rabbit polyclonal anti-human KGF and anti-human KGFR antisera raised in the authors' laboratories against synthetic peptides corresponding to parts of human KGF KGFR, respectively. Their specificity was confirmed in lung tumour tissues by western blotting various controls. Proliferative activity was assessed by determining the labelling index (LI) for Ki-67 antigen. Immunohistochemistry revealed that tissue co-expression of KGF KGFR correlated significantly with higher differentiation grades in squamous cell carcinoma. Conversely, in adenocarcinoma, co-expression correlated with lower differentiation grades high Ki-67 LI, was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis shorter 5-year survival. Therefore, the results indicate that co-expression of KGF KGFR correlates significantly with poor prognosis in adenocarcinoma, but not in squamous cell carcinoma, of the lung.

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