CD163 is one of the scavenger receptors expressed on macrophages. However, several immunohistochemical studies have demonstrated that CD163 is also detected on cancer cells, and is associated with a poor prognosis. In the present study, we detected CD163 staining on cancer cells in lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and investigated the relationship between CD163 on cancer cells and the clinical prognosis. CD163 staining was seen in 128 of 342 adenocarcinoma cases and 35 of 103 SCC cases. Among the lung adenocarcinoma cases, the progression-free survival and overall survival were significantly shorter in the CD163 high group than the CD163 low group. A similar trend was observed among the SCC cases, but the difference was not statistically significant. Additionally, a higher number of macrophages was detected in areas with CD163-positive cancer cells when compared to areas with CD163-negative cancer cells. In summary, we found that CD163-positive cancer cells are a predictor of a worse clinical course in lung adenocarcinoma and SCC.
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