Harving, Mette L2; Christensen, Lise H4; Ringsholt, Merete2; Lausten, Gunnar S2; Petersen, Michael M5
1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Section of Diagnostic Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Section of Diagnostic Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
An immunohistochemical study of 49 tumors
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: YKL-40 is a glycoprotein that is expressed in many types of cancer cells. In some cancers, there is a correlation between high serum YKL-40 levels on the one hand and more aggressive disease and early death on the other. YKL-40 has never been studied in patients with soft-tissue sarcomas (STSs). We investigated whether YKL-40 is expressed in STS tissue and ascertained that the degree of expression is related to survival and/or the histological grade of the malignancy (FNCLCC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: We included archived tissue from 49 patients (40 with STS and 9 with atypical lipomatous tumor, 20 female and 29 male, mean age 58 (4-89) years) who were treated with tumor resection in 2004 or 2005 at the Department of Orthopedics, Rigshospitalet. The minimum length of follow-up with respect to survival was 5-7 years. Immunohistochemical analysis with anti-YKL-40 antibody using tissue microarray was performed on resected tumors, and a semiquantitative measure of the intensity of YKL-40 staining was performed. RESULTS: 41 of the 49 tumors were positive for YKL-40, and of these, 36 had moderate to intense staining. 24 of the patients died within the follow-up period, and the intensity of YKL-40 staining was significantly higher in tumors from patients who had died in the follow-up period than in tumors from those who survived (p = 0.01). The staining intensity was different for the 3 grades of malignancy (p = 0.004): it was higher in highly malignant tumors (FNCLCC grade 2 and grade 3) than in low-malignancy tumors (grade 1). INTERPRETATION: YKL-40 is expressed in soft-tissue sarcomas. There is a correlation between expression of YKL-40 in STS and both histological grade of the malignancy and survival. Whether or not YKL-40 expression is an independent prognostic variable could not be determined in the present study.