December 1993

Prognostic Significance of the Proliferation Index in Surgically Resected Non—Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Pence and Iglehart), Pathology (Ms Kerns), and Biostatistics (Mr Dodge), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(12):1382-1390. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420240090017

Objective:  To determine the utility of measuring the tumor proliferation index as a prognostic marker in patients with non—small-cell lung cancer.

Design:  Immunostaining for the proliferationassociated antigen Ki-67, quantitated using computerassisted image cytometry, was used to derive the tumor proliferation index for 61 fresh-frozen, banked specimens of non—small-cell lung cancer. DNA ploidy was measured concomitantly for all specimens. A median follow-up of 38 months was achieved for survival analyses.

Setting:  A large southeastern United States private referral institution and affiliated hospital provided the study environment.

Participants:  A consecutive, convenience sample of 61 patients was enrolled based on resected tissue preservation and viability over a five-year accruement.

Main Outcome Measures:  Significant associations between DNA content, proliferation index, established clinicopathological parameters, and outcome were examined.

Results:  A significant inverse association between patient survival and tumor proliferation index was found that was independent of other established clinicopathological predictors of outcome. Patients whose tumors harbored a proliferation index of less than 3.5 survived significantly longer than patients with tumors demonstrating higher values. No association between DNA content and proliferation index was uncovered.

Conclusion:  Measurement of the proliferation index, as derived from quantitative Ki-67 immunostaining and analyzed by image cytometry, may provide significant complementary, if not independent, prognostic information for patients with non—small-cell lung cancer.(Arch Surg. 1993;128:1382-1390)