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Open AccessArticle

Increased Expression and Activation of FAK in Small-Cell Lung Cancer Compared to Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

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Pole of Pneumology, ENT, and Dermatology (PNEU), Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique (IREC), Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), 1200 Brussels, Belgium
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Division of Pneumology, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, UCLouvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
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Department of Pathology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, UCLouvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
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Centre de Technologies Moléculaires Appliquées, IREC, UCLouvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
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Division of Pneumology, CHU UCL Namur (Godinne Site), UCLouvain, 5530 Yvoir, Belgium
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Lung Transplant Unit, Division of Respiratory Disease, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
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Imaging Platform, IREC, UCLouvain, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1526; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101526
Received: 20 September 2019 / Accepted: 2 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeted Therapy for Small Cell Lung Cancer)
Introduction: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) plays a crucial role in cancer development and progression. FAK is overexpressed and/or activated and associated with poor prognosis in various malignancies. However, in lung cancer, activated FAK expression and its prognostic value are unknown. Methods: FAK and activated FAK (phospho-FAK Y397) expressions were analyzed by multiplex immunofluorescence staining in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues from 95 non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and 105 small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients, and 37 healthy donors. The FAK staining score was defined as the percentage (%) of FAK-stained tumor area multiplied by (×) FAK mean intensity and phospho-FAK staining score as the (% of phospho-FAK-stained area of low intensity × 1) + (% of phospho-FAK-stained area of medium intensity × 2) + (% of the phospho-FAK-stained area of high intensity × 3). FAK and phospho-FAK staining scores were compared between normal, NSCLC, and SCLC tissues. They were also tested for correlations with patient characteristics and clinical outcomes. Results: The median follow-up time after the first treatment was 42.5 months and 6.4 months for NSCLC and SCLC patients, respectively. FAK and phospho-FAK staining scores were significantly higher in lung cancer than in normal lung and significantly higher in SCLC compared to NSCLC tissues (p < 0.01). Moreover, the ratio between phospho-FAK and FAK staining scores was significantly higher in SCLC than in NSCLC tissues (p < 0.01). However, FAK and activated FAK expression in lung cancer did not correlate with recurrence-free and overall survival in NSCLC and SCLC patients. Conclusions: Total FAK and activated FAK expressions are significantly higher in lung cancer than in normal lung, and significantly higher in SCLC compared to NSCLC, but are not prognostic biomarkers in this study. View Full-Text
Keywords: expression; FAK; lung cancer; small-cell lung cancer; non-small-cell lung cancer; multiplex immunofluorescence staining; phospho-FAK; prognosis; targeted therapy expression; FAK; lung cancer; small-cell lung cancer; non-small-cell lung cancer; multiplex immunofluorescence staining; phospho-FAK; prognosis; targeted therapy
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Aboubakar Nana, F.; Hoton, D.; Ambroise, J.; Lecocq, M.; Vanderputten, M.; Sibille, Y.; Vanaudenaerde, B.; Pilette, C.; Bouzin, C.; Ocak, S. Increased Expression and Activation of FAK in Small-Cell Lung Cancer Compared to Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Cancers 2019, 11, 1526.

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