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Open Access Research article

Aberrant expression of CD133 in non-small cell lung cancer and its relationship to vasculogenic mimicry

Shiwu Wu, Lan Yu, Danna Wang, Lei Zhou, Zenong Cheng, Damin Chai, Li Ma and Yisheng Tao*

Author Affiliations

Department of Pathology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu 233000, Anhui Province, China

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:535  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-535

Published: 21 November 2012

Abstract

Background

To investigate on expressions and clinical significances of CD133 protein and vasculogenic mimicry (VM) in primary non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods

The specimens of NSCLC from 305 Chinese patients with follow-up were analyzed for CD133 protein expression and VM by immunohistochemical and histochemical staining.

Results

In NSCLC, positive rates of 48.9% and 35.7% were obtained for CD133 and VM, respectively. The VM and expression of CD133 were significantly higher in carcinoma than in normal. There were a positive relationship between the VM and expression of CD133 and the tumor grade, lymph node metastasis and clinical stage (all P<0.05). The overall mean survival time of the patients with CD133 and VM positive expression was lower than that of patients with negative expression. Microvessel density (MVD) was positive corresponded with the grade, lymph node metastasis and clinical stage (all P<0.05). The overall mean survival time of the patients with MVD≥22’s group was shorter than that of patients with MVD<22’s group. Pathological-tumor-node-metastasis (pTNM) stage, positive expression of CD133 and VM, postoperative therapy and MVD were independent prognostic factors of NSCLC (P<0.05). Immunohistochemistry revealed an important intratumoral heterogeneity in all four CD133 expression profiles.

Conclusions

VM, MVD and expression of CD133 are related to differentiation, lymph node metastasis, clinical stage, and prognosis. It is suggested that CD133, VM and MVD should be considered as a potential marker for the prognosis.