C-kit protein expression in uterine and ovarian mesenchymal tumours

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Abstract

The protooncogene c-kit encoding transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor protein plays an important role in the signal transduction pathway that regulates cellular growth and repair. Gene product KIT overexpression has been shown in a number of different neoplasms, particularly in mastocytosis and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). The morphologic similarity of uterine mesenchymal tumours and GIST, and the presence of KIT protein in normal uterine tissue, suggests that uterine sarcomas may have the same c-kit overexpression. The purpose of this study was to determine the overexpression of c-kit protein in uterine and ovarian sarcomas. Immunohistochemical staining using a polyclonal anti-c-kit antibody was performed on tissue blocks from 12 carsinosarcomas, 14 leiomyosarcomas, 8 endometrial stromal sarcomas, 2 adenosarcomas, 1 atypical leiomyoma, 1 leiomyoma with limited experience, and 10 leiomyomas. The slides were evaluated by a semiquantitative method. C-kit was positive in 10 of 12 (83%) carcinosarcomas, 10 of 14 (71%) leiomyosarcomas, 6 of 8 75(%) endometrial stromal sarcomas, 1 of 2 (50%) adenosarcomas, 1 leiomyoma with limited experience, and 1 of 10 (10%) leiomyomas. The uterine sarcomas express c-kit, like GISTs. It seems that KIT may have a significant role in the oncogenesis of mesenchymal tumours of the uterus and ovary.

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