Tumor samples obtained from 72 patients resected for non-small cell lung cancer were stained immunohistochemically using an immunoperoxidase method and the MLuC5 monoclonal antibody specific for the 67-kDa laminin receptor. Sixty-one of 72 patients (84.7%) displayed a MLuC5-positive reaction, which was usually localized in both the inner surface of the plasmatic membranes and the cytoplasm of neoplastic cells. When we compared the laminin receptor expression with clinicopathological and biological parameters such as histotype, grading, T status, N status, ploidy, proliferative activity, vessel invasion, and p53 protein accumulation, the following results were observed: (a) the mean expression of the receptor was higher in the group of patients with metastatic nodal involvement than in those with uninvolved lymph nodes (P = 0.02); (b) a high Ki-67 score (>13% of positive cells) was observed in tumors with a higher mean value of laminin receptor (P = 0.004); (c) the tumors harboring neoplastic emboli in their vessels showed a higher laminin receptor immunoreactivity (P = 0.02); and (d) a borderline association was found between the high mean value of laminin receptor immunopositivity and p53 accumulation in neoplastic cell nuclei (P = 0.05). Our observations indicate that detection of high tissue levels of 67-kDa laminin receptor is associated with an invasive phenotype in non-small cell lung cancer and may provide further information in the biological characterization of this type of cancer.

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