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Anticancer Res. 2002 Jul-Aug;22(4):2275-80.

Correlation of MDR-1, nm23-H1 and H Sema E gene expression with histopathological findings and clinical outcome in ovarian and breast cancer patients.

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National Hellenic Research Foundation, Institute of Biological Research and Biotechnology, Athens, Greece.


The development of a molecular screening method for cancer patients is of great importance, since it would contribute to the selection of the most effective chemotherapy regimen for each patient. In the present study we applied such a method, semi-quantative RT-PCR analysis, and we examined the expression of the multidrug resistance gene MDR-1, the metastasis suppressor gene nm23-H1 and the non-MDR drug resistant gene H Sema E in 53 ovarian and breast cancer specimens. Moreover, we have correlated the expression profile of these genes with the histopathological findings and clinical outcome of the examined patients. The majority of specimens were found to be positive for MDR-1 and H Sema E gene expression, while nm23-H1 was detected in less than 50% of the patients. Correlation and statistical analysis of the molecular data with clinicopathological features showed that nm23-H1 could serve as a good prognostic factor for ovarian cancer patients. In breast cancer patients, nm23-H1 expression was associated with a 6.1 higher death risk. Ovarian cancer patients who express nm23-H1, but not MDR-1 and H Sema E, tend to have longer survival than patients with any other gene combination. Finally, breast cancer patients with advanced disease showed a better response when they were negative for all the three genes studied. In conclusion this work proposes that the combined study of the expression of different genes may be a useful approach for evaluating patients' response to therapy.

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