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Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2008 Jul;27(3):380-9. doi: 10.1097/PGP.0b013e31815d060d.

Epidermal growth factor receptor expression in serous ovarian carcinoma: an immunohistochemical study with galectin-3 and cyclin D1 and outcome.

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Department of Pathology, Landesklinikum Thermenregion, Moedling, Austria.


This study investigated the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), galectin-3 and cyclin D1 in a cohort of ovarian serous carcinomas with regard to outcome and clinicopathologic parameters. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded archival tissues of fifty ovarian serous carcinomas were stained with anti-bodies to EGFR, Gal-3, and cyclin D1 by automated immunohistochemistry. Additionally, 10 benign serous cystadenomas and 10 typical serous borderline ovarian tumors were included in the study. Immunostaining was scored with regard to quantity and intensity of positively stained nuclei. Staining patterns were recorded. The EGFR expression was scored negative in all serous cystadenomas and serous borderline ovarian tumors. Membranous and cytoplasmic EGFR immunoreactivity was determined in 64% of ovarian serous carcinomas; it was related to high grade (P=0.0005) and poor outcome (P=0.0137) but not with stage (P=0.5118). Galectin-3 and cyclin D1 immunostaining decreased from serous cystadenomas and serous borderline ovarian tumors to the carcinomas significantly (P=0.0022 and P=0.0083, respectively). Galectin-3 immunostaining of any pattern (nuclear and cytoplasmic as well as merely cytoplasmic taken together) was not related to grade or stage in cancers; mere cytoplasmic expression was associated with poor outcome (P=0.0097). Cyclin D1 immunoreactivity in predominantly nuclear pattern was increased in low-grade carcinomas (P=0.0378) but was not related to stage and outcome (P=0.6578 and P=0.0675, respectively). This study indicates that with regard to EGFR and cytoplasmic galectin-3 immunoexpression, multiple marker testing may be an adjunct in the identification of high-risk ovarian serous cancers.

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