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Int J Cancer. 2002 Jul 10;100(2):166-71.

Expression of MUC1 splice variants in benign and malignant ovarian tumours.

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Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.


MUC1 is expressed on the surface of ovarian cancer cells. Nine different splice variants of MUC1 have been described, but no study has reported on the expression of MUC1 isoforms in human ovarian cancer. Our study compares patterns of expression of MUC1 splice variants of malignant and benign ovarian tumours. Ovarian tissue samples were taken from patients with benign ovarian tumours (n = 34) and from patients who had surgery for primary (n = 47) or recurrent (n = 8) ovarian cancer. RT-PCR for MUC1 splice variants A, B, C, D, X, Y, Z, REP and SEC was performed and their expression compared to clinical and histopathologic parameters. Variants A, D, X, Y and Z were more frequently expressed in malignant than in benign tumours. All primary ovarian cancer cases were positive for variant REP but negative for variant SEC. No significant association of the expression of MUC1 splice variants with the response to chemotherapy or patient survival could be demonstrated. Expression of MUC1 splice variants A, D, X, Y, Z and REP is associated with the presence of malignancy, whereas expression of MUC1/SEC is associated with the absence of malignancy.

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