Background: Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Even with complete resection, the prognosis of early-stage non-small cell lung cancer is poor due to local and distant recurrence, and it remains unclear which biomarkers are clinically useful for predicting recurrence or for determining the efficacy of chemotherapy. Recently, several lines of evidence have indicated that the enzymatic activity of cyclin-dependent kinases could be a clinically relevant prognostic marker for some cancers. We investigated whether the specific activity of cyclin-dependent kinases 1 and 2 could predict recurrence or death in early non-small cell lung cancer patients.Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed, pathologically confirmed non-small cell lung cancer were entered into this blinded cohort study. The activity of cyclin-dependent kinases was determined in 171 samples by the C2P® assay, and the results were subjected to statistical analysis with recurrence or death as a clinical outcome.Results: The Cox proportional hazards model revealed that the activity of cyclin-dependent kinase 1, but not 2, was a predictor of recurrence, independent of sex, age, and stage. By contrast, cyclin-dependent kinase 2 activity was a predictor of death, independent of sex and stage.Conclusion: This study suggested the possible clinical use of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 as a predictor of recurrence and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 as a predictor of overall survival in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer. Thus, a combination of activity of cyclin-dependent kinases 1 and 2 is useful in decision-making regarding treatment strategies for non-small cell lung cancer after surgery.
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