International journal of clinical and experimental pathology

High expression of oncoprotein DEK predicts poor prognosis of small cell lung cancer.

PMID 25197373


Oncoprotein DEK plays an important role in cancer tumorigenesis. To explore the clinical implication of DEK expression on prognostic evaluation in small cell lung cancer (SCLC), 130 cases of SCLC with strict follow-up were selected for immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of DEK protein. The correlation between DEK expression and clinicopathological features of SCLC was evaluated using the Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests, survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using the Cox proportional hazards regression model. IHC analysis demonstrated that DEK protein staining was strongly positive and significantly higher (44.62%) in SCLC compared with either adjacent non-tumor or normal lung tissues (P < 0.001 for both). DEK expression correlated with large tumor size (P = 0.025) and late pathologic stage (P = 0.005). Moreover, it correlated with low disease-free (P = 0.004) and 5-year (P = 0.005) survival rates. In the late-stage group, disease-free and 5-year survival rates of patients with high level DEK expression were significantly lower than those with low level DEK expression (P = 0.006 and P = 0.001, respectively). Furthermore, Cox analysis revealed that DEK expression emerged as a significant independent hazard factor for the overall survival rate of patients with SCLC (HR: 1.594, 95% CI: 1.087-2.336, P = 0.017). In conclusion, DEK plays an important role in the progression of SCLC. DEK may potentially be used as an independent biomarker for the prognostic evaluation of SCLC.