Aims The nuclear factor κ B (NF-κB) family comprises transcription factors that promote the development and progression of cancer. The NF-κB pathway is induced by radiation therapy and may be related to tumour radioresistance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of NF-κB as a predictor of the response to radiotherapy and its value as a prognostic marker.
Methods A retrospective analysis was performed in a series of 32 individuals with stage IB2 and IIB cervical cancer who underwent radiotherapy, followed by radical hysterectomy, from January 1992 to June 2001. NF-κB-p65 and NF-κB-p50 expression was examined by immunohistochemistry in biopsies from all patients before radiotherapy and in 12 patients with residual tumours after radiotherapy.
Results 16 (50%) patients had residual disease after radical hysterectomy. The median follow-up time was 73.5 months, and the 5-year overall survival was 66.5%. Before radiotherapy, cytoplasmic expression of NF-κB-p65 and NF-κB-p50 was noted in 91% and 97% of cases, respectively, versus 59% of cases with nuclear expression of these subunits. Cytoplasmic expression of NF-κB-p65 and NF-κB-p50 in the residual tumours after radiotherapy was observed in 50% of cases; 75% of cases with residual tumours had nuclear expression of NF-κB-p50 versus none with NF-κB-p65. NF-κB-p65 and NF-κB-p50 did not correlate with the risk of residual tumours after radiotherapy or recurrence or death.
Conclusions These data suggest that NF-κB does not predict the response to radiotherapy and does not correlate with poor outcomes in advanced cervical cancer.
- cervical cancer
- Hodgkins disease
- malignant tumours
- molecular oncology
- molecular pathology
- nuclear factor κ B
- ovarian tumour
- tumour progression
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study received ethics approval from the Institutional Review Board of AC Camargo Cancer Hospital.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.