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Pathol Res Pract. 1997;193(1):21-36.

Synovial sarcoma: immunohistochemical expression of P-glycoprotein and glutathione S transferase-pi and clinical drug resistance.

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Unit of Molecular Pathology-IPATIMUP, Medical Faculty, Portugal.


Our purpose was to study the role of the expression of P-glycoprotein (Pgp) and glutathione S transferase-pi (GST-pi) in predicting the response to chemotherapy, relapse-free interval, and survival of patients with synovial sarcoma (SS). Thirty-seven cases of primary SS, without regional lymph node or distant metastases, were studied. There were 17 females and 20 males, ranging in age from 7 to 81 years (median, 31 years) with tumors located in the lower extremity (n = 24) upper extremity (n = 5) and trunchus (n = 8). The cases were retrospectively studied without knowledge of clinical course to compare the immunohistochemical expression of Pgp and GST-pi, flow cytometry parameters (ploidy and % of cells in S+G2 phases), and PCNA and Ki-67 labeling of primary tumors before any therapy, with that observed in local recurrences and metastases after chemotherapy. The relationship of the aforementioned parameters with clinicopathological features (gender, age, and histo-blood group of the patients, size, location, histological subtype. TNM stage, and clinical response to chemotherapy of the tumors) was also evaluated. Results revealed that Pgp and GST-pi were expressed in 29.7% and 40.5% of the cases, respectively. In 48.6% of the tumors there was expression of a least one of the drug resistance markers. The markers were coexpressed in 25.0% of the tumors. The prevalence of Pgp expression was lower, but not significantly, in stage I-II (17.6%) than in stage III (40.0%) tumors, and also in cases without clinical progression (16.7%), than in cases with (36.0%). No such differences were observed for GST-pi expression. Pgp and GST-pi expressions were significantly associated with biphasic SS and were particularly noticeable in solid/glandular areas of biphasic SS. The expression of the drug resistance markers was not significantly associated with gender, age, and histo-blood group of the patients, dimension, location, and proliferative activity of the tumors; it was also not significantly related to relapse-free interval and survival of the patients. The expression of Pgp and GST-pi was not significantly associated either to response to chemotherapy or influenced by chemotherapy. We conclude that Pgp and GST-pi expressions are not good predictors response to of the chemotherapy in patients with localized SS. Other drug resistance mechanisms may be active in SS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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