Zafirellis K, Zachaki A, Agrogiannis G, Gravani K. Inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and its prognostic significance in colorectal cancer. APMIS 2010; 118: 115–24. Nitric oxide synthases (NOS) are expressed in colorectal cancer. The aim of this study was to examine the inducible NOS (iNOS) expression in colorectal cancer and to investigate its prognostic relevance. Tissue sections of primary tumors from 132 patients undergoing curative resection for colorectal cancer were immunohistochemically examined for iNOS expression. The expression pattern of iNOS was correlated with various clinicopathological characteristics and survival. iNOS immunoreactivity was observed in the cytoplasm of tumor epithelial cells in 60 patients (45.5%) and positively correlated with lymph node involvement (p = 0.019). No significant correlation was found between iNOS expression and various clinicopathological characteristics, including age, gender, tumor location, tumor size, tumor grade, T stage, and Union International Contra la Cancrum (UICC) stage. Survival analysis showed a significant correlation between iNOS-positive tumors and poor disease-specific survival (p < 0.0001), with independent prognostic significance in multivariate analysis (HR = 4.42; p < 0.0001). Patients with stage II disease and iNOS-positive tumors had significantly worse disease-specific survival than those with iNOS-negative tumors (p < 0.0001). In addition, patients with stage III disease and iNOS-positive tumors had significantly worse disease-specific survival than those with iNOS-negative tumors (p = 0.001). The ability of iNOS to predict outcome in colorectal cancer patients may be independent of other known prognostic factors, providing a new molecular marker with significant potential for clinical utility.
Department of Surgery, Karditsa General Hospital, Karditsa 2:
1st Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens 3:
Department of Pathology, Karditsa General Hospital, Karditsa, Greece