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Cancer. 1994 Jul 1;74(1):46-51.

Immunohistochemical study of cathepsin B. Prognostic significance in human lung cancer.

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First Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Hokkaido University Hospital, Sapporo, Japan.



The concentration of cysteine proteinase cathepsin B has been shown to be elevated in association with malignancy or metastatic potential of human and rodent tumors, but its prognostic value for human lung cancer remains undetermined.


Using a polyclonal antibody, immunohistochemical analyses of cathepsin B were performed on paraffin embedded sections of tumors obtained surgically from 108 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (49 squamous cell carcinomas, 59 adenocarcinomas). The immunohistochemical expressions of cathepsin B in the tumors were compared with patient survival.


Higher grade expression of cathepsin B was associated significantly with shorter survival in non-small cell lung cancer (P < 0.01), in squamous cell carcinoma (P < 0.05), and in adenocarcinoma (P < 0.01). A similar result also was seen in Stage I non-small cell lung cancer (P < 0.05).


The authors concluded that the immunohistochemical staining pattern of cathepsin B may be a useful predictor of survival for human lung cancer.

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