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Yoon, Kim, Shin, Kim, Cho, Kim, Park, Jeon, Kim, Lee, Lee, and Park: Maspin Expression and Its Clinical Significance in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer



Maspin (mammary serine protease inhibitor) is a member of the serpin superfamily. A few studies have examined the role of maspin in tumor suppression of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); however, its role in the development and progression of NSCLC still remains controversial. We evaluated the immunohistochemical expression of maspin in order to elucidate its clinical significance in NSCLC.


We analyzed 145 patients with pathologically confirmed NSCLC, including 66 cases of squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and 79 cases of adenocarcinomas (ADCs). We performed a immuno-histochemical stain with maspin and PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) using tissue microarray blocks.


There were 108 men and 37 women in the study population. The mean age of patients in the study was 63.7 years (range, 40.0~82.0; median, 65.0). The proportion of maspin expression was significantly higher in SCCs (52/66, 78.8%; p<0.01) than in ADCs (17/79, 21.5%; p<0.01). Maspin expression was not associated with PCNA (p=0.828), lymph node involvement (p=0.483), or tumor stage (p=0.216), but showed correlation with well-to-moderate tumor differentiation (p=0.012). There was no observed correlation between maspin expression and survival with NSCLC (p=0.218).


The present study suggests that maspin expression was significantly higher in SCCs than in ADCs and was associated with low histological grade. However, maspin expression was not an independent factor to predict a prognosis in NSCLC.

Figures and Tables

Figure 1
Immunohistochemical staining for maspin using the tissue microarray (×200). (A) ADC without maspin expression. (B) ADC with maspin expression. (C) SCC without maspin expression. (D) SCC with maspin expression.
Figure 2
Comparison of cumulative survival according to maspin expression in non-small cell lung cancer.
Table 1
Data sheet for maspin and PCNA

Gpab: polyclonal gout antibody; PCNA: proliferating cell nuclear antigen; Mmab: monoclonal mouse antibody.

Table 2
Characteristics of patients and maspin expression

Values are presented as number (%) unless otherwise indicated.

Table 3
Relationship between maspin expression and clinicopathologic features

Values are presented as number (%).

*Regardless of histologic type, maspin expression was significantly associated with low histological grade (p-value: SCC, <0.01; ADC, 0.04); I, II vs. IIIA ↑.

Table 4
Relationship between maspin expression and PCNA

NSCLC: non-small cell lung cancer; SCC: squamous cell carcinoma; ADC: adenocarcinoma; PCNA: pro-liferating cell nuclear antigen.

Table 5
Multivariate analysis of the prognostic factors in non-small cell lung cancer

PCNA: proliferating cell nuclear antigen; CI: confidence interval.


This work was supported for two years by Pusan National University Research Grant.


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