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Int J Gynecol Cancer. 1993 Sep;3(5):271-278.

Expression of HER-2/neu oncoprotein, DNA-ploidy and S-phase fraction in advanced ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Catholic University, Rome, Medical Oncology, University of Chieti, Pathology, Catholic University, Rome, Laboratory of Immunology, Istituto Regina Elena, Rome, Italy.


The immunohistochemical expression of HER-2/neu and cytofluorimetric data were retrospectively analyzed in a group of primary advanced ovarian cancers. Thirty-three out of 94 (35%) cases showed a specific p185/neu immunoreaction. No correlation between p185/neu expression and any of the clinico-pathologic parameters examined was observed. As far as cytofluorimetric data are concerned, 38 out of 69 (55%) of the tumors were diploid (DNA index = 1) while 31 (45%) were aneuploid (DNA index from 1.10 to 2.50 with a median value of 1.50). Ovarian tumors were defined as of low and high S-phase fraction in 68% and 32% of the cases, respectively. Tumor ploidy and S-phase fraction did not correlate with the clinico-pathologic characteristics or p185/neu oncoprotein expression. Aneuploid tumors had a higher S-phase fraction (mean: 15.81 +/- 13.44) than diploid tumors (mean: 8.89 +/- 7.98) (P < 0.01). p185/neu expression failed to affect significantly both overall and progression free survival. On the other hand tumor ploidy was found to be related to the prognosis of advanced ovarian cancer patients although the difference was not statistically significant. As far as progression free survival is concerned, the median time to recurrence was not reached for diploid cases whereas it was 21 months for aneuploid cases (P < 0.05). The 5-year survival for patients with a low S-phase fraction (58%) was significantly higher than for patients with high S-phase fraction tumors (28%) (P < 0.01). Median time to recurrence was 48 and 17 months for low and high S-phase fraction tumor patients, respectively (P < 0.05). However, in a multivariate analysis both tumor ploidy and S-phase fraction did not retain their prognostic value. The assessment of the role of the parameters examined in improving the prognostic characterization of ovarian cancer patients should be investigated in large multicenter clinical trials.

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