Phospho-histone H3 (pHH3) immuno-reactivity as a prognostic marker in non-functioning pituitary adenomas.

Research paper by Erica E Hightower, Maria E ME Cabanillas, Greg N GN Fuller, Ian E IE McCutcheon, Kenneth R KR Hess, Komal K Shah, Steven G SG Waguespack, Lynda J LJ Corley, Jessica K JK Devin

Indexed on: 29 Nov '11Published on: 29 Nov '11Published in: Pituitary


Nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPA) are typically benign neoplasms that can cause significant morbidity through local mass effects. MIB-1/Ki-67 and p53 immuno-reactivity are used to predict aggressive behavior but have known limitations. No marker to date is widely used to reliably predict tumor progression. Phospho-histone H3 (pHH3) is a protein phosphorylated during chromatin condensation in mitosis, and thus anti-pHH3 immunocytochemistry is able to assess mitotic activity. Study objectives were to determine the relationship among pHH3, MIB-1/Ki-67, and p53 in NFPA, and to evaluate the relationship between these indices and time to progression (TTP). Seventy-six patients with NFPA operated on by a single neurosurgeon at University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1992 to 2006 were identified from a database and met all criteria for inclusion in this clinicopathology study. PHH3, MIB-1/Ki-67, and p53 immuno-reactivity was evaluated in each case. Retrospective review was used to determine TTP. With 282 person-years of follow-up, 19 progression events were observed. A correlation was found between MIB-1/Ki-67 and p53 immuno-reactivity (r = 0.25, p = 0.031). PHH3 did not correlate with either. When markers were dichotomized at the median, only MIB-1/Ki-67 correlated with TPP (log rank p = 0.018). Rank correlation analysis confirmed a significant inverse correlation between both MIB-1/Ki-67 (Dxy = -0.33, p = 0.036) and p53 (Dxy = -0.40, 0.016) immuno-reactivity and TTP. Our results support previous data suggesting that MIB-1/Ki-67 and p53 have clinical utility as prognostic markers for tumor progression. PHH3 did not prove to be associated with TTP in this retrospective study limited by few progression events.