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Abstract

The expression of Ha-ras and fes oncogenes was investigated with the immunohistochemical method in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue specimens of 147 lung carcinomas. Positive immunoperoxidase reactions for Ha-ras p21 were found in 80.5% of the adenocarcinomas, 39.5% of the squamous cell carcinomas, 21,4% of the large cell carcinomas, and 15.4% of the small cell carcinomas; those for fes P85 were found in 51.2% of the adenocarcinomas, 26.3% of the squamous cell carcinomas, 35.7% of the large cell carcinomas, and 15.4% of the small cell carcinomas. Both Ha-ras p21 and fes P85 were expressed most frequently and most strongly in adenocarcinoma. In addition, adenocarcinoma showed significantly higher incidence of concomitant expression of Ha-ras p21 and fes P85 as compared with other histologic types of lung cancer. Thus, the authors suggest that the cooperative effects of Ha-ras and fes oncogenes are especially important in the carcinogenesis of adenocarcinoma. In adenocarcinoma, the incidence and grade of Haras p21 expression increased with the degree of histologic differentiation, suggesting that Ha-ras oncogene might be related to cellular differentiation. Papillary adenocarcinoma showed more frequent Ha-ras p21 expression in comparison with acinar adenocarcinoma. In well-or moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma, the incidence and grade of Ha-ras p21 immunoreactivity in the cases with poor prognosis were significantly higher than in those with good prognosis if other major prognostic factors were equivalent in the two groups. The authors propose that the expression of Ha-ras p21 may be one of the useful prognostic factors in such carcinomas.