Nestin is a class 6 intermediate filament protein expressed in stem/progenitor cells during CNS development. Nestin expression has been detected in many kinds of tumors and was reported in a recent small-scale study in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We investigated the relationships between nestin expression and clinicopathologic parameters and determined its prognostic significance concerning survival in patients with resected NSCLC.
Nestin expression in tumor cells was studied immunohistochemically in 171 consecutive patients with NSCLC, and associations with clinicopathologic parameters were evaluated. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the effect of nestin expression on survival.
Nestin expression was observed in tumor cell samples in 27 of the 171 patients with NSCLC (15.8%). Nestin had only cytoplasmic expression. Clinicopathologically, nestin expression was significantly associated with squamous cell carcinoma (P = .001), poorer differentiation (P = .007), lymph node metastasis (P = .008), intratumoral vascular invasion (P = .003), intratumoral lymphatic invasion (P = .008), pleural invasion (P = .039), and poorer prognosis (P < .001). Multivariable analysis confirmed that nestin expression increased the hazard of death after adjusting for other clinicopathologic factors (hazard ratio, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.39-5.46).
The present study suggests that nestin expression is a prognostic indicator of poorer survival probability for patients with resected NSCLC and may be used as a potential marker for select patients who should receive adjuvant chemotherapy.