Aim: To evaluate the clinical implications of c-kit (CD117) expression in plasma cell myeloma (PCM). Methods and results: We first evaluated the reliability of immunohistochemistry in assessing c-kit expression by comparing the results with those obtained by flow cytometry and gene expression arrays in 22 PCM and in 10 PCM cell linesq1. Immunohistochemical results showed a perfect concordance with those of flow cytometry; likewise, immunohistochemical and gene expression data were also concordant in all but one PCM and cell lines analysed. Then, we investigated the clinical implications of c-kit immunoreactivity in bone marrow biopsies of 85 PCM patients with a mean follow-up of 41 months. C-kit immunoreactivity was detected in 24 (28.2%) of the 85 cases and it was significantly associated with a high microvessel density, but not with traditional clinicopathological characteristics or with survival. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that immunohistochemistry is a reliable indicator of c-kit gene expression and reinforce the notion that approximately one-third of PCM express high levels of c-kit. The lack of association with traditional clinicopathological parameters and patient survival suggests that c-kit expression may not be an adjunct in predicting the clinical course of the disease.
- Gene expression
- Plasma cell myeloma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology