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Prognostic value of nuclear factor κ B expression in patients with advanced cervical cancer undergoing radiation therapy followed by hysterectomy
  1. Glauco Baiocchi1,
  2. Maria Dirlei Begnami2,
  3. Elza Mieko Fukazawa1,
  4. Renato Almeida Rosa Oliveira1,
  5. Carlos Chaves Faloppa1,
  6. Lillian Yuri Kumagai1,
  7. Levon Badiglian-Filho1,
  8. Antonio Cassio Assis Pellizzon3,
  9. Maria Aparecida Conte Maia3,
  10. Alexandre Arthur Jacinto4,
  11. Fernando Augusto Soares2,
  12. Ademar Lopes5
  1. 1Department of Gynecologic Oncology, AC Camargo Cancer Hospital, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  2. 2Department of Pathology, AC Camargo Cancer Hospital, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  3. 3Department of Radiation Oncology, AC Camargo Cancer Hospital, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  4. 4Department of Radiation Oncology, Barretos Cancer Hospital, Barretos, Brazil
  5. 5Department of Pelvic Surgery, AC Camargo Cancer Hospital, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Dr Glauco Baiocchi, Departamento de Ginecologia, Hospital do Cancer AC Camargo, Rua Antonio Prudente, 211, 01509-010, São Paulo, Brazil; glbaiocchi{at}


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.

  • Cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • diagnostics
  • histopathology
  • Hodgkins disease
  • immunohistochemistry
  • lymphoma
  • malignant tumours
  • molecular oncology
  • molecular pathology
  • nuclear factor κ B
  • ovarian tumour
  • prognosis
  • radiation
  • 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.