Small Cell Carcinomas of the Uterine Cervix and Lung: Proteomics Reveals Similar Protein Expression Profiles

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Abstract

Objective

The phenotypic and pathological features of small cell cervical carcinoma (SMCC) and small small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are very similar; thus, the chemotherapy regimens used for the rare SMCC have been routinely based on regimens used for common SCLC. We set out to explore the protein expression profile similarities between these 2 cancers to prove that linking their therapeutic regimens is justified, with a secondary aim of finding tumor-specific proteins to use as additional biomarkers for more accurate diagnosis of SMCC, and potentially to use as therapeutic targets.

Methods

Protein expression analysis was performed for 3 cases of SMCC and 1 example each of SCLC, mucinous adenocarcinoma of the cervix (MACC), lung mucinous adenocarcinoma (MACL), and squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (SCC). We used cancer tissue–originated spheroids (CTOS) and isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)–based comprehensive and quantitative protein expression profile analysis. Expression in corresponding clinical samples was verified by immunohistochemistry.

Results

Rather than organ of origin–specific patterns, the SMCC and SCLC samples revealed remarkably similar protein expression profiles—in agreement with their matching tumor pathology phenotypes. Sixteen proteins were expressed at least 2-fold higher in both small cell carcinomas (SMCC and SCLC) than in MACC or SCC. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed higher expression of creatine kinase B-type in SMCC, compared with MACC and SCC.

Conclusions

We demonstrate a significant overlapping similarity of protein expression profiles of lung and cervical small cell carcinomas despite the significant differences in their organs of origin.

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