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Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Nov 15;19(22):6261-71. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-0596. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

Validation of a proliferation-based expression signature as prognostic marker in early stage lung adenocarcinoma.

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Authors' Affiliations: Departments of Translational Molecular Pathology, Thoracic/Head and Neck, Pathology, and Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas; Myriad Genetics, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah; and Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milan, Italy.



New prognostic markers to guide treatment decisions in early stage non-small cell lung cancer are necessary to improve patient outcomes. In this report, we assess the utility of a predefined mRNA expression signature of cell-cycle progression genes (CCP score) to define 5-year risk of lung cancer-related death in patients with early stage lung adenocarcinoma.


A CCP score was calculated from the mRNA expression levels of 31 proliferation genes in stage I and stage II tumor samples from two public microarray datasets [Director's Consortium (DC) and GSE31210]. The same gene set was tested by quantitative PCR in 381 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) primary tumors. Association of the CCP score with outcome was assessed by Cox proportional hazards analysis.


In univariate analysis, the CCP score was a strong predictor of cancer-specific survival in both the Director's Consortium cohort (P = 0.00014; HR = 2.08; 95% CI, 1.43-3.02) and GSE31210 (P = 0.0010; HR = 2.25; 95% CI, 1.42-3.56). In multivariate analysis, the CCP score remained the dominant prognostic marker in the presence of clinical variables (P = 0.0022; HR = 2.02; 95% CI, 1.29-3.17 in Director's Consortium, P = 0.0026; HR = 2.16; 95% CI, 1.32-3.53 in GSE31210). On a quantitative PCR platform, the CCP score maintained highly significant prognostic value in FFPE-derived mRNA from clinical samples in both univariate (P = 0.00033; HR = 2.10; 95% CI, 1.39-3.17) and multivariate analyses (P = 0.0071; HR = 1.92; 95% CI, 1.18-3.10).


The CCP score is a significant predictor of lung cancer death in early stage lung adenocarcinoma treated with surgery and may be a valuable tool in selecting patients for adjuvant treatment.

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