Correlation Between Immunohistochemical Biomarkers Expression and Prognosis of Ovarian Carcinomas in Tunisian Patients

Lobna Ayadi, Salma Chaabouni, Abdelmajid Khabir, Habib Amouri, Saloua Makni, Mohamed Guermazi, Mounir Frikha, Tahya Sellami Boudawara


Background: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynaecological malignancies. Newer biological prognostic factors and predictors of response to therapy are needed. Our study was designed to evaluate the expression of p53, Bcl-2, Estrogen receptor (ER) and Progesterone receptor (PR) in ovarian carcinoma and to compare it with other prognostic parameters such as age, FIGO stage, size of residual tumor, histological type and grade.

Methods: This is a retrospective study conducted in the department of pathology at Sfax University Hospital. Confirmed 57 cases of ovarian carcinoma were reviewed in the period between January 1995 and December 2006. We used immunohistochemistry to evaluate the expression of p53, Bcl-2, ER and PR receptors and Chi-Square and Student test to correlate immunohistochemical findings with some prognostic parameters of ovarian carcinoma.

Results: The percentage of expression of p53, Bcl-2, ER and PR was 73,7; 47,4; 35,1 and 33,3 % respectively. p53 overexpression correlated with an advanced FIGO stage (p = 0,026) and presence of ascitis (p < 10-4). The expression of PR was associated with an early stage (FIGO I and II), a non serous histologic type and a low tumour grade (p = 0,045; 0,010 and 0,036 respectively). No correlation was found between Bcl-2 and ER and prognostic parameters. Survival analysis revealed that Bcl-2 status, FIGO stage, presence of ascites, peritoneal cytology, and residual disease were significant predictive factors of survival.

Conclusion: p53 expression correlates with a worse prognosis in epithelial ovarian cancer, whereas Bcl-2 expression is related to a better outcome. For hormonal status, expression of PR is found to be an independent indicator of favourable prognosis. These results should be supported by more and larger studies.

World J Oncol. 2010;1(3):118-128


Ovarian carcinoma; p53; Bcl-2; Estrogen receptor; Progesterone receptor

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