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Oncol Lett. 2010 Jul;1(4):633-639. Epub 2010 Jul 1.

Nuclear factor-κB expression is predictive of overall survival in patients with cutaneous melanoma.

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Department of Cytomorphology, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato (CA).


Nuclear factor (NF)- κB is one of the most important transcription factors that plays a crucial role in the regulation of a wide spectrum of genes involved in modulating the cell cycle, apoptosis, cell growth, angiogenesis, inflammation and the tissue invasiveness of highly malignant cells. NF-κB activity has been found to be constitutively elevated in a number of human tumors from either a haematological or solid origin, such as melanomas. In several studies, NF-κB activation was shown to be an adverse prognostic factor, and in melanoma it was proposed as an event that promotes tumor progression. This study aimed to evaluate whether NF-κB activation in tumor tissues, assessed by the expression of the NF-κB p65 subunit, has an effect on the survival of melanoma patients. The expression of NF-κB was immunohistochemically investigated, and the correlation with survival was analyzed. Furthermore, the immunostaining for p53 and survivin was evaluated, and the relationship of these apoptotic and anti-apoptotic factors with NF-κB expression was analyzed. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that patients with low levels of NF-κB in the nuclei of tumor cells had a significantly longer survival compared to those with high levels. Multivariate analysis confirmed the predictive value of nuclear NF-κB, showing that its expression maintains significance after the model was adjusted using clinicopathological factors. The results demonstrate the correlation of NF-κB p65 nuclear staining with the disease-specific 5-year survival of melanoma patients and suggest that nuclear NF-κB p65 may be promising as an early independent prognostic factor in patients with primary cutaneous melanoma.

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