Aims The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) transcription factors family is thought to play an important role in the development of certain cancers. In this study, the clinical significance of NF-κB transcription factor expression and the MIB-1 labelling index (MIB-1 LI) were studied in retinoblastoma.
Methods Immunohistochemical analysis of normal retina (n=6) and retinoblastoma tumour (n=62) specimens obtained from multiple centres was performed in order to evaluate the pathological associations of NF-κB subunits and retinoblastoma.
Results Expression of NF-κB proteins was frequently detected in retinoblastoma but not in normal retina samples with c-Rel being the most commonly detected (61%). This protein was more frequently detected in poorly-differentiated and invasive tumours than in well-differentiated and non-invasive tumours. RelA expression in invasive tumours was also significantly higher. Furthermore, expression of c-Rel correlated positively with the MIB-1 LI in retinoblastoma, and RelA/c-Rel revealed positive correlation with RelA/RelB.
Conclusions This study demonstrated that expression of RelA and c-Rel proteins represents a reliable prognostic marker of retinoblastoma and that NF-κB is related to retinoblastoma tumorigenesis and progression through a non-conventional pathway. This data suggests that therapeutic strategies targeting NF-κB combined with other therapies may represent a novel approach to retinoblastoma therapy.
- nuclear factor-κB transcription factors
- colorectal cancer
- gall bladder
- p53, pancreas
- cancer research
- paediatric pathology
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Drs YQ, FZ and XD contributed equally to this work.
Funding Department of Science and Technology of Shandong Province of China (2009GG10002016), and Beijing Natural Science Foundation of China (7092021).
Competing interests None to declare.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the participating institutional review boards: Qilu Hospital of Shandong University; Heze Medical College; Jinan Second People's Hospital; Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Tongren Eye Center, Beijing Ophthalmology and Visual Science Key Laboratory.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.