Altered patterns of retinoblastoma gene product expression in adult soft-tissue sarcomas Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Dependovirus
  • Factor VIII
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Hemophilia A


  • Altered expression of the retinoblastoma (RB) tumour-suppressor gene product (pRB) has been detected in sporadic bone and soft-tissue sarcomas. Earlier studies, analysing small cohorts of sarcoma patients, have suggested that these alterations are more commonly associated with high-grade tumours, metastatic lesions and poorer survival. This study was designed to re-examine the prevalence and clinical significance of altered pRB expression in a large and selected group of soft-tissue sarcomas from 174 adult patients. Representative tissue sections from these sarcomas were analysed by immunohistochemistry using a well-characterised anti-pRB monoclonal antibody. Tumours were considered to have a positive pRB phenotype only when pure nuclear staining was demonstrated, and cases were segregated into one of three groups. Group 1 (n = 36) were patients whose tumours have minimal or undetectable pRB nuclear staining (< 20% of tumour cells) and were considered pRB negative. Patients with tumours staining in a heterogeneous pattern (20-79% of tumour cells) were classified as group 2 (n = 99). The staining of group 3 (n = 39) was strongly positive with a homogeneous pRB nuclear immunoreactivity (80-100% of tumour cells). pRB alterations were frequently observed in both low- and high-grade lesions. Altered pRB expression did not correlate with known predictors of survival and was not itself an independent predictor of outcome in the long-term follow-up. These findings support earlier observations that alterations of pRB expression are common events in soft-tissue sarcomas; nevertheless, long-term follow-up results indicate that altered patterns of pRB expression do not influence clinical outcome of patients affected with soft-tissue sarcomas. It is postulated that RB alterations are primary events in human sarcomas and may be involved in tumorigenesis or early phases of tumour progression in these neoplasias.

publication date

  • January 1995



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/bjc.1995.447

PubMed ID

  • 7547254

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 986

end page

  • 91


  • 72


  • 4