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Mod Pathol. 2005 Jan;18(1):97-104.

Low D2-40 immunoreactivity correlates with lymphatic invasion and nodal metastasis in early-stage squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Lymphatic invasion and nodal metastasis are predictors of shorter disease-free and overall survival in carcinoma of the uterine cervix. The monoclonal antibody D2-40, which reacts with the oncofetal membrane antigen M2A, is a new selective marker for lymphatic endothelium, and has been shown to be useful in identifying the presence of lymphatic invasion in various malignant neoplasms, including cervical carcinoma. However, the reactivity of the tumor cells with D2-40 has not yet been evaluated. In this study, we examined the pattern of D2-40 immunoreactivity in a series of 138 invasive squamous cell carcinomas of the uterine cervix. We correlated the presence and extent of D2-40 immunoreactivity in the tumor cells with various clinicopathologic features, the presence of lymphatic invasion, lymph node metastasis and outcome. Diffuse or focal D2-40 immunoreactivity was present in 17 (12%) and 81 (59%) tumors, respectively, while 40 (29%) tumors showed no immunoreactivity. Lymphatic invasion and nodal metastasis were present in 56 and 29% of tumors, respectively. Tumor emboli within lymphatic spaces and metastatic tumor foci in lymph nodes showed no immunoreactivity in 86 and 80% of the cases, respectively. Lymphatic invasion and nodal metastasis were significantly more common in tumors showing low D2-40 immunoreactivity (P<0.0001 and 0.022, respectively). D2-40 immunoreactivity showed no correlation with any other clinicopathologic features examined, including tumor size, grade and FIGO stage. In univariate analysis low D2-40 immunoreactivity was significantly associated with shorter recurrence-free, but not with overall survival. Our studies suggest that D2-40 immunostaining may serve as a marker for increased risk of lymphatic invasion and tumor recurrence in cervical biopsy material. Further study of the biological function of the M2A antigen may shed some light on the interaction of tumor cells with lymphatics.

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