• Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule;
  • CD166;
  • Non-small cell lung cancer;
  • Cancer stem cell;
  • Tumor-initiating cells;
  • Biomarker;
  • Prognosis


Recently, the activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (CD166) was identified as an “inert” cancer stem cell (CSC) marker for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Few data exist regarding the clinical relevance of CD166 expression in NSCLC. We evaluated the expression of CD166 using immunohistochemistry in a large cohort of NSCLC patients (n = 1,910) on a tissue microarray basis. Expression was inversely associated with tumor size and lymph node status. Grading slightly failed to be significantly inversely associated, and survival analysis revealed no significant survival benefit of CD166-positive patients. Due to the results of this study, the theory of CD166 as a CSC marker for NSCLC must be questioned. The association of CD166 with smaller tumors and no nodal metastases does not make it a typical CSC marker. Further studies are required to investigate the functional role of CD166 in NSCLC. Stem Cells 2014;32:1429–1436