Coexpression of fragile histidine triad and c-kit is relevant for prediction of survival in patients with small cell lung cancer

Nina Rehfeld, Helene Geddert, Abedelsalam Atamna, Helmut E. Gabbert, Ulrich Steidl, Roland Fenk, Ralf Kronenwett, Rainer Haas, Ulrich Peter Rohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: In a retrospective analysis of 195 patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC), we examined the prognostic value of a coexpression of fragile histidine triad (FHIT) protein and c-kit on patient's survival. Methods: As assessed by immunohistochemistry using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections, tumors of 195 patients with SCLC were evaluated for FHIT and c-kit coexpression. Results: Coexpression of FHIT and c-kit was observed in 53.3%; a positive expression of either FHIT or c-kit was found in 40.5%. Complete lack of FHIT and c-kit (6.2%) was associated with a significantly shorter survival time for the patients with a mean of 122 ± 45 days compared with 468 ± 89 days for patients with lung cancer coexpressing FHIT and c-kit (P = 0.0011). The proportion of FHIT- and c-kit-positive cells within a tumor was also related to survival time. Patients with tumors with a proportion between 0% to 25% of FHIT-and c-kit-positive cells had the worst survival of 157 ± 34 days compared with 496 ± 95 days for patients showing >25% FHIT- and c-kit-positive cells (P = 0.0002). Further, variables associated with shorter survival times were low performance status, elevated lactate dehydrogenase level, and advanced tumor stage according to tumor-node-metastasis classification. Multivariate analysis using Cox regression model, including 11 variables, confirmed the prognostic significance of a combined expression of FHIT and c-kit next to tumor stage, performance status, and lactate dehydrogenase level. Conclusions: Differential FHIT and c-kit expression was of prognostic relevance for survival in patients with SCLC and therefore provide useful variables for therapeutic decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2232-2238
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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