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Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Feb;15(2):547-54. Epub 2007 Nov 28.

Perimembrane Aurora-A expression is a significant prognostic factor in correlation with proliferative activity in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.



Aurora-A, also known as STK15/BTAK, is a member of the protein serine/threonine kinase family, and experimental studies have revealed that Aurora-A plays critical roles in cell mitosis and in carcinogenesis. However, no clinical studies on Aurora-A expression in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have been reported. Thus, the present study was conducted to assess the clinical significance of Aurora-A status.


A total of 189 consecutive patients with resected pathologic (p-)stage I-IIIA, NSCLC were retrospectively reviewed, and immunohistochemical staining was used to detect Aurora-A expression.


Aurora-A expression was negative in 31 patients (16.4%); among Aurora-A positive patients, 124 patients showed pure diffuse cytoplasmic Aurora-A expression and the other 34 patients showed perimembrane Aurora-A expression. Perimembrane Aurora-A tumors showed the highest proliferative index (PI) (mean PIs for negative, diffuse cytoplasmic, and perimembrane tumors: 49.2, 41.7, and 63.5, respectively; P < .001). Five-year survival rates of Aurora-A negative, diffuse cytoplasmic, and perimembrane patients were 67.8%, 66.7%, and 47.6%, respectively, showing the poorest postoperative survival in perimembrane patients (P = .033). Subset analyses revealed that perimembrane Aurora-A expression was a significant factor to predict a poor prognosis in squamous cell carcinoma patients, not in adenocarcinoma patients. A multivariate analysis confirmed that perimembrane Aurora-A expression was an independent and significant factor to predict a poor prognosis.


Perimembrane Aurora-A status was a significant factor to predict a poor prognosis in correlation with enhanced proliferative activity in NSCLC.

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