We have reported previously that the serum nm23-H1 level is a prognostic factor for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In this study, we examined nm23-H1 expression in T- and natural killer (NK)-cell lymphoma in order to evaluate whether lymphoma cells produce the protein. The clinical significance of the cytotoxic molecules, T-cell intracellular antigen-1 (TIA-1) and granzyme B and nm23-H1 expression were also examined. Expression of nm23-H1, TIA-1, or granzyme B was examined by immunohistochemistry in 137 previously untreated lymphoma patients. The relationship between the results and clinical outcome was examined in 81 patients with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified. The neoplastic cells of some lymphomas produced nm23-H1 and the expression rates of nm-23-H1, TIA-1 and granzyme B were 36.5%, 78.8% and 32.8% respectively. The nm23-H1-positive or TIA-1-positive groups had significantly shorter overall and disease-free survivals. Multivariate analysis confirmed nm23-H1 expression to be an independent prognostic factor. The nm23-H1 protein can be an important prognostic factor in the lymphomas studied here. New treatments that target nm23 overexpression could be developed as a result of nm23-HI production by lymphoma cells.
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