Research Papers: Pathology:

Low expression of SerpinB2 is associated with reduced survival in lung adenocarcinomas

Maria Ramnefjell, Christina Aamelfot, Lars Helgeland and Lars A. Akslen _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:90706-90718. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21456

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Maria Ramnefjell1, Christina Aamelfot2, Lars Helgeland3 and Lars A. Akslen1,3

1 Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO, Department of Clinical Medicine, Section for Pathology, Haukeland University Hospital, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

2 Department of Thoracic Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway

3 Department of Pathology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway

Correspondence to:

Lars A. Akslen, email:

Keywords: lung cancer, metastases, SerpinB2, neuroserpin, L1CAM, Pathology Section

Received: March 16, 2017 Accepted: September 22, 2017 Published: October 03, 2017


Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and new biomarkers are of utmost importance. Studies have indicated that the anti-plasminogen activators SerpinB2 and Neuroserpin, and the adhesion molecule L1CAM, have a coordinated impact on development of metastasis. Here, we examined whether expression of these markers was associated with clinico-pathologic characteristics and prognosis in resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Surgical specimens from 438 NSCLC patients treated at Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway (1993-2010) were included (median age 68 years; 213 adenocarcinomas, 135 squamous cell carcinomas, 90 others). Representative tumor sections were stained for SerpinB2, Neuroserpin, and L1CAM.

Low expression of SerpinB2 was associated with reduced lung cancer specific survival (LCSS) in adenocarcinomas (p = 0.017), also in stage I (p = 0.031). In contrast, high SerpinB2 was associated with reduced LCSS in stage I squamous cell carcinomas (p = 0.022). Although Neuroserpin and L1CAM showed some associations with clinico-pathologic phenotype, there were no associations with survival. In multivariate survival analysis of adenocarcinomas, low SerpinB2 demonstrated independent prognostic value (HR 1.8, p = 0.008).

In summary, low expression of SerpinB2 in lung adenocarcinomas was an independent prognostic factor. In contrast to findings by others, we found no impact of L1CAM on survival.

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