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Acta Histochem Cytochem. 2013 Apr 30;46(2):85-96. doi: 10.1267/ahc.12024. Epub 2013 Apr 12.

Semi-nested real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction methods for the successful quantitation of cytokeratin mRNA expression levels for the subtyping of non-small-cell lung carcinoma using paraffin-embedded and microdissected lung biopsy specimens.

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1
Department of Pathology, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

In patients with inoperable advanced non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs), histological subtyping using small-mount biopsy specimens was often required to decide the indications for drug treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of highly sensitive mRNA quantitation for the subtyping of advanced NSCLC using small formalin fixing and paraffin embedding (FFPE) biopsy samples. Cytokeratin (CK) 6, CK7, CK14, CK18, and thyroid transcription factor (TTF)-1 mRNA expression levels were measured using semi-nested real-time quantitative (snq) reverse-transcribed polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in microdissected tumor cells collected from 52 lung biopsies. Our results using the present snqRT-PCR method showed an improvement in mRNA quantitation from small FFPE samples, and the mRNA expression level using snqRT-PCR was correlated with the immunohistochemical protein expression level. CK7, CK18, and TTF-1 mRNA were expressed at significantly higher levels (P<0.05) in adenocarcinoma (AD) than in squamous cell carcinoma (SQ), while CK6 and CK14 mRNA expression was significantly higher (P<0.05) in SQ than in AD. Each histology-specific CK, particularly CK18 in AD and CK6 in SQ, were shown to be correlated with a poor prognosis (P=0.02, 0.02, respectively). Our results demonstrated that a quantitative CK subtype mRNA analysis from lung biopsy samples can be useful for predicting the histology subtype and prognosis of advanced NSCLC.

KEYWORDS:

NSCLC; cytokeratin; laser microdissection; quantitative (q) RT-PCR; subtyping

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