Significantly Greater Expression of ER, PR, and ECAD in Advanced-Stage Low-Grade Ovarian Serous Carcinoma as Revealed by Immunohistochemical Analysis

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Abstract

Summary:

A 2-tier system that classifies ovarian serous carcinoma (OSC) as low grade or high grade is gaining acceptance. Women with low-grade OSC generally have higher 5-year survival rates than do women with high-grade OSC. We examined the expression of various markers to further understand the molecular differences between low-grade and high-grade OSCs: the potential therapeutic targets or prognostic markers Her-2/neu, estrogen receptor, and progesterone receptor (PR); the metastasis-associated markers cyclin D1 (BCL1), E-cadherin, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2, and MMP-9; and the cell proliferation-associated markers BCL1, Ki-67 antigen (Ki-67), and p53. For this immunohistochemical analysis, we used paraffin-embedded specimens from 47 patients with advanced-stage low-grade OSC and from 49 patients with advanced-stage high-grade OSC. Our results showed that low-grade tumors expressed significantly higher levels of estrogen receptor, PR, and E-cadherin than did high-grade tumors, suggesting the involvement of gonadal steroid hormones, especially in the pathogenesis of low-grade OSC; the PR positivity was also observed in the stromal component of these low-grade tumors. On the other hand, high-grade tumors trended toward increased expression of MMP-9, BCL1, p53, and Ki-67, and robust MMP-9 positivity was observed in the stromal component of these high-grade tumors. These differences may lead to the development of different therapeutic strategies for women with either the low-grade or the high-grade form of OSC.

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