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Neoplasma. 2019 Mar 10;2019. pii: 181007N742. doi: 10.4149/neo_2018_181007N742.

Association between 18F-FDG uptake in PET/CT, Nrf2, and NQO1 expression and their prognostic significance in non-small cell lung cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea.
2
Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Ajou University School of Medicine, Ajou University, Suwon, South Korea.
3
Department of Pathology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Ajou University, Suwon, South Korea.

Abstract

Two pentose phosphate pathway-related proteins, NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/ NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (Quinone) 1 (NQO1) regulate the expression of glucose metabolism and antioxidant genes. We evaluated the prognostic significance of NRF2, NQO1 and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET) parameter and their relationship with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) histology. A total of 241 patients, who underwent surgical resection for NSCLC, were reviewed retrospectively. Preoperative 18F-FDG PET and immunohistochemical results of Nrf2 and NQO1 were evaluated. In SQCC, the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) was significantly higher in NQO1-high than in NQO1-low expression (p=0.023). In adenocarcinoma, SUVmax was not correlated with NQO1 expression. Patients with a high NQO1 expression showed poor recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) than patients with a low NQO1 expression in squamous cell carcinoma (SQCC) (p=0.002 and p=0.014, respectively). NQO1 expression was not associated with clinical outcome in adenocarcinoma. Nrf2 expression was not correlated with prognosis in two types of NSCLC. High SUVmax was associated with poor RFS (p=0.03) but is not related to poor OS (p=0.569) in SQCC. In multivariate analyses, NQO1 expression and SUVmax were not independent prognostic factors in SQCC. However, in multivariate analysis combining NQO1 and SUVmax values, both low SUVmax and low NQO1 was independent prognostic factor for RFS and OS (HR= 3.790, p = 0.033 and HR= 2.961, p = 0.045, respectively). In conclusion, both low SUVmax and low NQO1 was an independent prognostic factor in SQCC alone. The sample size was small but there was a positive correlation between NQO1 expression and SUVmax in SQCC.

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