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Br J Cancer. 2009 Jul 7;101(1):149-59. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605112. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Modest effect of p53, EGFR and HER-2/neu on prognosis in epithelial ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Gynaecologic Oncology, University Medical Centre Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.



P53, EGFR and HER-2/neu are the most frequently studied molecular biological parameters in epithelial ovarian cancer, but their prognostic impact is still unequivocal. We performed a meta-analysis to more precisely estimate their prognostic significance.


Published studies that investigated the association between p53, EGFR and HER-2/neu status and survival were identified. Meta-analysis was performed using a DerSimonian-Laird model. Publication bias was investigated using funnel plots and sources of heterogeneity were identified using meta-regression analysis.


A total of 62 studies were included for p53, 15 for EGFR and 20 for HER-2/neu. P53, EGFR and HER-2/neu status had a modest effect on overall survival (pooled HR 1.47, 95% CI 1.33-1.61 for p53; HR 1.65, 95% CI 1.25-2.19 for EGFR and HR 1.67, 95% CI 1.34-2.08 for HER-2/neu). Meta-regression analysis for p53 showed that FIGO stage distribution influenced study outcome. For EGFR and HER-2/neu, considerable publication bias was present.


Although p53, EGFR and HER-2/neu status modestly influences survival, these markers are, by themselves, unlikely to be useful as prognostic markers in clinical practice. Our study highlights the need for well-defined, prospective clinical trials and more complete reporting of results of prognostic factor studies.

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