Cripto-1 and RUNX2 Expressions in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer, their Roles in its Progression and Patients Outcome
Background: Non-small cell carcinoma of lung (NSCLC) is the commonest and most lethal lung cancer type; it includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma subtypes. The five-year survival rate in NSCLC patients is still very low although improvements in treatment modalities are still emerging. Hence, new prognostic markers and therapies need to be brought to light aiming to improve patients' outcome. Cripto-1 (CR-1) is one of the family members of epidermal-growth-factor; cripto FRL1 cryptic-(EGF-CFC) is needed for embryogenesis. Runt-related-transcription-factor [RUNX] family members make core-binding factor complex (CBFC) that attach to DNA to stimulate or inhibit many genes transcription, regulate the survival, differentiation and maturation of many tissues. The aim of this work is to detect the clinical significance and prognostic role of CR-1 and RUNX2 expressions in NSCLC using immunohistochemistry.
Method: CR-1 and RUNX2 expressions were evaluated in 59 paraffin blocks sections of NSCLC. The relationship between their level of expressions and patient's prognosis was analyzed.
Results: CR-1 and RUNX2 were highly expressed in NSCLC patients, 59.3% and 67.8%, respectively. There was a significant positive association between their expressions in NSCLC patients (p=0.015). Both markers were significantly correlated with size, grade, stage, site of the tumor within the lung, malignant (pleural and/or pericardial) effusion, presence of distant metastases, ECOG performance status of the patients (p<0.001) and existence of hepatic metastases (p=0.004). Both markers expressions were significantly correlated with poor response to treatment (p<0.001). After a median follow up of 30 months, mean PFS of NSCLC patients having elevated CR-1 and RUNX2 expressions was shorter (p<0.001). Patients with high RUNX2 expressing have significantly shorter mean OS (p=0.025). High CR-1 expression negatively affected OS but that was not statistically significant (p=0.2).
Conclusion: NSCLC patients with elevated CR-1 and RUNX2 expression values had unfavorable prognosis.