J Cancer 2016; 7(3):324-334. doi:10.7150/jca.13422

Research Paper

Association of Nuclear PIM1 Expression with Lymph Node Metastasis and Poor Prognosis in Patients with Lung Adenocarcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Richeng Jiang1,2,3✉, Xinyue Wang1,2,3, Ziliang Jin4, Kai Li1,2,3✉

1. Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer;
2. Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin;
3. Department of Thoracic Oncology, Tianjin Lung Cancer Center, Tianjin Cancer Institute & Hospital, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin 300060, PR China;
4. Department of Radiotherapy, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, PR China.


Increasing evidence indicates that aberrant expression of PIM1, p-STAT3 and c-MYC is involved in the pathogenesis of various solid tumors, but its prognostic value is still unclear in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we sought to evaluate the expression and prognostic role of these markers in patients with lung adenocarcinoma (AD) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Real time RT-PCR and Western blotting was used to analyze the mRNA and protein expression of PIM1 in NSCLC cell lines, respectively. The expression of PIM1, p-STAT3, and c-MYC was immunohistochemically tested in archival tumor samples from 194 lung AD and SCC patients. High nuclear PIM1 expression was detected in 43.3% of ADs and SCCs, and was significantly correlated with lymph node (LN) metastasis (P = 0.028) and histology (P = 0.003). High nuclear PIM1 expression (P = 0.034), locally advanced stage (P < 0.001), AD (P = 0.007) and poor pathologic differentiation (P = 0.002) were correlated with worse disease-free survival (DFS). High nuclear PIM1 expression (P = 0.009), advanced clinical stage (P < 0.001) and poor pathologic differentiation (P = 0.004) were independent unfavorable prognostic factors for overall survival (OS). High p-STAT3 expression was not associated with OS but significantly correlated with LN metastasis, while c-MYC was not significantly correlated with any clinicopathological parameter or survival. Therefore, in AD and SCC patients, nuclear PIM1 expression level is an independent factor for DFS and OS and it might serve as a predictive biomarker for outcome.

Keywords: PIM1, p-STAT3, c-MYC, prognostic factor, adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma.

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How to cite this article:
Jiang R, Wang X, Jin Z, Li K. Association of Nuclear PIM1 Expression with Lymph Node Metastasis and Poor Prognosis in Patients with Lung Adenocarcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. J Cancer 2016; 7(3):324-334. doi:10.7150/jca.13422. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v07p0324.htm