Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Expression of c-kit in human osteosarcoma and its relevance as a prognostic marker
  1. Irene Sulzbacher1,
  2. Peter Birner1,
  3. Cyril Toma2,
  4. Nikolaus Wick1,
  5. Peter R Mazal1
  1. 1Clinical Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2Department of Orthopaedics, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Irene Sulzbacher
 Clinical Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria; irene. sulzbacher{at}


Aims: To examine the prognostic relevance of c-kit expression in human osteosarcomas and to evaluate the mutation status in exon 9 and exon 11 of the c-kit gene.

Methods: c-kit expression was examined in 100 human osteosarcomas by immunohistochemistry using paraffin embedded tumour tissues, and capillary sequencing of genomic DNA was performed to search for mutations in exons 9 and 11 of the c-kit gene.

Results: 20 osteosarcomas showed c-kit expression ranging from 5% to 90% (mean 5.9%; SD 16.74%). Furthermore, DNA sequences of exon 9 and exon 11 of the c-kit gene were not altered in these tumours. Overall and disease free survival analysis did not reveal any differences between patients with osteosarcoma with c-kit expression and those with c-kit negative tumours.

Conclusions: C-kit expression is not a prognostic marker in patients with osteosarcoma. The protein expression is not linked to mutations in exon 9 or exon 11 of the c-kit gene. Therefore, these exons may not function as targets for treatment modalities based on the suppression of c-kit tyrosine kinase activity.

  • GIST, gastrointestinal stroma tumour
  • PDGF, platelet derived growth factor
  • PDGFRA, platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha
  • osteosarcoma
  • c-kit
  • prognosis
  • mutation

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Published Online First 3 October 2006

  • Competing interests: None.

  • The procedures followed in this study were in accordance with the guidelines of the human ethics committee of the Medical University of Vienna.