Purpose: Data on the involvement of elevated metallothionein (MT) expression in resistance to some of the commonly used anticancer treatments are scattered and conflicting. This encouraged us to examine further the contribution of metallothionein expression to the development of this resistance phenotype. Patients and methods: Formalin-fixed, paraffin- embedded blocks of primary untreated germ cell testicular tumor specimens, obtained from 77 patients following radical orchiectomy, were examined for their MT expression using monoclonal antibody and immunohistochemistry. Clinical staging, the chemotherapeutic schedule and evaluation of response to treatment (defining objective response) were performed according to UICC criteria. Results: All tumor types, including seminomas and nonseminomas, expressed MT, regardless of their histology and clinical stage. The immunoreactivity of MT showed a significant positive correlation with the clinical sensitivity of cancer to antitumor therapy (P = 0.0001). Conclusion: In patients with germ cell testicular tumors, high MT expression, as detected by immunohistochemistry, predicts a better response rate to chemotherapy whereas tumors lacking or demonstrating low MT expression show a worse prognosis. These data do not support the hypothesis that MT overexpression contributes to cisplatinum resistance, at least in this tumor type.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research