Expression of Caspase-3 and c-myc in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Department of Pathology, St. Vincent's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Suwon, Korea.
Cancer Research and Treatment (Impact Factor: 3.32). 10/2004; 36(5):303-7. DOI: 10.4143/crt.2004.36.5.303
Source: PubMed


Caspase-3 is a cysteine protease that plays an important role in the process of apoptotic cell death, but little has been studied clinically on caspase-3 in lung cancer. Increased c-myc expression can result in mitosis or apoptosis, and its contribution to the pathogenesis and prognosis of lung cancer has gained interest. In the present study, the expressions of caspase-3 and c-myc, along with their possible correlations with prognostic variables, were analyzed in resected non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC).
Archival tumor tissues from 147 previously untreated NSCLC patients were examined by immunohistochemistry for the expressions of caspase-3 and c-myc proteins. Clinical information was obtained through the computerized retrospective database from the tumor registry.
The expressions of caspase-3 and c-myc were detected in 60 (88/147) and 16% (24/147) of tumors, respectively. No association was found between caspase-3 and c-myc expressions. A multivariate analysis demonstrated the N status and pathologic stage to be significantly correlated with poor survival (p-value=.018 and .002, respectively), but positive expression of caspase-3 was associated with a good prognosis (p=.03).
Our data suggest the involvement of caspase-3 in the tumorigenesis of NSCLC. It is also noteworthy that caspase-3 expression might be a favorable prognostic indicator in these tumors.

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