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Am J Clin Pathol. 1987 Aug;88(2):216-20.

Increased expression of N-myc in human small cell lung cancer biopsies predicts lack of response to chemotherapy and poor prognosis.


Amplified and increased expression of the myc family of protooncogenes (c- and N-myc) has been described to be associated with rapid proliferation in a number of cell lines, including small cell lung cancer (SCLC). In SCLC, c-myc was demonstrated to be amplified in a subset of SCLC cell lines denoted as variant type, which show a more aggressive way of growth in vitro. The N-myc oncogene, which has extensive homology in the second exon with c-myc, has been shown to be implicated in the oncogenesis of several primary tumors, including SCLC. The authors describe, using in situ hybridization, that increased expression of the N-myc oncogenes in primary biopsies from 15 untreated patients with SCLC are strongly associated with poor response to chemotherapy, rapid tumor growth, and short survival.

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