J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016 May;142(5):905-12. doi: 10.1007/s00432-015-2098-8. Epub 2015 Dec 22.
The association of intravascular stromal cells with prognosis in high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma of the lung.
PURPOSE: Histological vascular invasion (VI) is major predictor of recurrence after surgery for several cancer types. We previously reported that VI with abundant stromal cell infiltrates was a negative prognostic factor in lung adenocarcinoma. This study examined whether stromal cell infiltrates within VI are associated with prognosis in high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma (HGNEC) of the lung.
METHODS: We investigated the relationship between the frequency and density of VI and recurrence-free survival (RFS) of 60 resected HGNEC patients without adjuvant chemotherapy. We examined prognostic effects of CD204 (+) macrophages, CD34 (+) microvessels and α-smooth muscle actin (+) myofibroblasts within VI. Correlation between expressions of stem cell-related molecules (ALDH-1, Notch 1, CD44) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related molecules (E-cadherin, S100A4) in cancer cells within VI and RFS was also analyzed.
RESULTS: Among 60 cases, 51 cases showed VI. Although the presence of VI was a significant predictor for worse RFS (P = 0.04), the frequency and density of VI were not correlated with RFS. The number of CD204 (+) macrophage, CD34 (+) microvessels and α-smooth muscle actin (+) myofibroblasts within VI did not influence on the RFS. On the contrary, cases with higher Notch 1 expression in cancer cells in the VI displayed significantly shorter RFS than lower expression group (7.6 vs. 29.4 months, P = 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS: The current study revealed the presence of stromal cells within VI was not significant predictor for recurrence in HGNEC. This suggests that in HGNEC, unlike adenocarcinoma, intravascular stromal cells are not major contributors to metastasis.