Background: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly aggressive tumor with poor prognosis and limited response to therapy. New markers for the prediction of prognosis in MM and in pulmonary adenocarcinoma of the pleura are valuable. GATA-6 belongs to a six member zinc finger transcription factor family named after their recognition motif W-GATA-R.
Methods: Sixty-three pleural MM and 36 pleural metastatic pulmonary adenocarcinomas were studied for GATA-6 expression by immunohistochemistry using tissue microarray. Expression of GATA-6 was examined in relation to TTF-1 expression, survival, proliferation and apoptosis.
Results: Nuclear immunoreactivity for GATA-6 was stronger and more frequent in the MM cases than in the metastatic pleural adenocarcinoma. Prognosis was better in patients with GATA-6 expression when compared to those with no GATA-6 expression (p = 0.002), in the subgroup analysis the difference being significant in the epithelial and sarcomatous mesothelioma. GATA-6 was not associated with spontaneous proliferation or apoptosis of the tumor cells in situ.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that GATA-6 plays a role in pleural malignancies, predicting longer survival in subgroups of MM.