WWOX expression in different histologic types and subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer

Valentina Donati*, Gabriella Fontanini, Matteo Dell'Omodarme, Maria Cristina Prati, Simona Nuti, Marco Lucchi, Alfredo Mussi, Muller Fabbri, Fulvio Basolo, Carlo Maria Croce, Rami Ishaq Aqeilan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Purpose: Non -small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has heterogeneous histopathologic classification and clinical behavior and very low survival rate. WWOX (WW domain-containing oxidoreductase) is a tumor suppressor gene, and its expression is altered in several cancers. The purpose of this study is to better define the role of WWOX in NSCLC tumorigenesis and progression by determining its pathogenetic and prognostic significance. Experimental Design: WWOX protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 170 patients with NSCLC (101 squamous cell carcinomas, 66 adenocarcinomas, 3 large cell carcinomas) and was correlated with histopathologic (histotype, subtype, grade, tumor-node- metastasis, stage, index of cell proliferation Ki67/MIB1) and clinical (age, gender, local recurrences, distant metastases, overall survival, and disease-free survival) characteristics. Results: WWOX expression was absent/reduced in 84.9% of NSCLCs, whereas it was normal in 80.5% of adjacent normal lung tissues. WWOX expression was strongly associated with tumor histology (P = 1.1·10-5) and histologic grade (P = 0.0081): the percentage of cases with absent/strongly reduced WWOX expression was higher in squamous cell carcinomas and in poorly differentiated tumors. Regarding adenocarcinoma, bronchioloalveolar pattern showed normal WWOX expression in 62.5% of the cases, whereas in solid and acinar patterns, a prevalence of cases with absent/very low WWOX expression was observed (79.2% and 50%, respectively). Finally, weak WWOX staining intensity was related to the high index of cell proliferation (P = 0.0012). Conclusions: Our results suggest that the loss of WWOX expression plays different roles in tumorigenesis of distinct histotypes and subtypes of NSCLC and is related to high aggressiveness (G3; high proliferating activity) of tumors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)884-891
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


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