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Mod Pathol. 2002 Apr;15(4):365-71.

Markers of proliferative activity are predictors of patient outcome for low-grade endometrioid adenocarcinoma but not papillary serous carcinoma of endometrium.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Vancouver General Hospital and British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


On the basis of pathogenesis, two types of endometrial cancer can be recognized. Type 1 endometrial carcinomas are relatively indolent tumors that develop after prolonged estrogen stimulation, on a background of endometrial hyperplasia. Type 2 endometrial carcinomas are aggressive tumors that are not associated with hyperplasia or estrogen excess. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prognostic significance of tumor proliferative activity in early-stage endometrial cancer by using mitotic index and immunostaining, comparing Type 1 (endometrioid) and Type 2 (papillary serous carcinoma) tumors. The mitotic index, MIB-1, and p53 immunostaining in 39 tumors from patients with low-grade Stage Ia or Ib endometrioid adenocarcinoma; as well as 23 tumors from patients with Stage I papillary serous carcinoma. In low-grade endometrioid adenocarcinoma, mitotic and MIB-1 indices were statistically significant independent prognostic indicators (P =.004 and P =.018, respectively), and both were strongly correlated with p53 expression (P =.01 and P =.006, respectively). The mean mitotic index was 5 mitoses/10 high-power fields, and mean MIB-1 index was 27.5%. There was no significant correlation between mitotic or MIB-1 indices and patient outcome or p53 expression in papillary serous carcinoma. The mean mitotic index was 31 mitoses/10 high-power fields, and mean MIB-1 index was 30.5% in these tumors. p53 expression and proliferative indices are strongly correlated in low-grade endometrioid adenocarcinoma. MIB-1 and mitotic indices are independent prognostic indicators in these tumors. Papillary serous carcinoma of endometrium is rapidly proliferative in tumors even at an early stage, and quantification of proliferative activity in these tumors does not allow prediction of patient outcome.

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