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Exp Oncol. 2009 Jun;31(2):102-5.

Expression of cathepsin L in nasopharyngeal carcinoma and its clinical significance.

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Cancer Center, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430060, China.



To study the expression of cathepsin L in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and analyze its relationship with clinicopathologic factors.


The expression of cathepsin L was determined immunohistochemically in NPC, adjacent normal nasopharyngeal tissues and metastatic cervical lymph nodes. The correlation between its protein expression and clinicopathologic parameters as well as with long term follow-up data in NPC was analyzed.


The protein of cathepsin L was overexpressed in 47% primary tumor tissues, and in 89% metastatic cervical lymph node samples. Overexpression of cathepsin L was found to correlate with lymph node metastasis ( P = 0.04) and distant metastasis ( P = 0.01), and marginally with clinical stage and T classification, but not with patient age, gender and histological classification of tumor. Patients with overexpression of cathepsin L in tumor tissue had worse 5-year survival than those without such expression pattern ( P = 0.033). Multivariate survival analysis showed that cathepsin L protein expression level had a marginal significant correlation with prognosis of NPC.


Cathepsin L is a potential biomarker for prognosis of NPC and contributes to NPC metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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