HSP27 and 70 expression in thymic epithelial tumors and benign thymic alterations: diagnostic, prognostic and physiologic implications

S Janik, A I Schiefer, C Bekos, P Hacker, T Haider, J Moser, W Klepetko, L Müllauer, H J Ankersmit, B Moser

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

23 Citations (Scopus)


Thymic Epithelial Tumors (TETs), the most common tumors in the anterior mediastinum in adults, show a unique association with autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis (MG) and represent a multidisciplinary diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Neither risk factors nor established biomarkers for TETs exist. Predictive and diagnostic markers are urgently needed. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are upregulated in several malignancies promoting tumor cell survival and metastases. We performed immunohistochemical staining of HSP27 and 70 in patients with TETs (n = 101) and patients with benign thymic alterations (n = 24). Further, serum HSP27 and 70 concentrations were determined in patients with TETs (n = 46), patients with benign thymic alterations (n = 33) and volunteers (n = 49) by using ELISA. HSPs were differentially expressed in histologic types and pathological tumor stages of TETs. Weak HSP tumor expression correlated with worse freedom from recurrence. Serum HSP concentrations were elevated in TETs and MG, correlated with clinical tumor stage and histologic subtype and decreased significantly after complete tumor resection. To conclude, we found HSP expression in the vast majority of TETs, in physiologic thymus and staining intensities in patients with TETs have been associated with prognosis. However, although interesting and promising the role of HSPs in TETs as diagnostic and prognostic or even therapeutic markers need to be further evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24267
Pages (from-to)24267
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2016


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Female
  • HSP27 Heat-Shock Proteins/blood
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins/blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial/diagnosis
  • Patient Outcome Assessment
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thymus Gland/metabolism
  • Thymus Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Young Adult


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