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BMC Cancer. 2015 Oct 26;15:805. doi: 10.1186/s12885-015-1828-2.

Hypoxia biomarkers in squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Biology, Group of Radiation Biology and Tumor Physiology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. christine.ellingsen@rr-research.no.
2
Department of Radiation Biology, Group of Radiation Biology and Tumor Physiology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. lise.mari.klepp.andersen@rr-research.no.
3
Department of Radiation Biology, Group of Radiation Biology and Tumor Physiology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. kanthi.galappathi@rr-research.no.
4
Department of Radiation Biology, Group of Radiation Biology and Tumor Physiology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. einar.k.rofstad@rr-research.no.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is significant evidence that severe tumor hypoxia may cause resistance to chemoradiotherapy and promote metastatic spread in locally advanced carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Some clinical investigations have suggested that high expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and/or its target gene carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) may be useful biomarkers of tumor hypoxia and poor outcome in cervical cancer. Here, we challenged this view by investigating possible associations between HIF-1α expression, CAIX expression, fraction of hypoxic tissue, and lymph node metastasis in experimental human tumors.

METHODS:

Tumors of two cervical carcinoma xenograft lines (CK-160 and TS-415) were included in the study. Pimonidazole was used as a hypoxia marker, and tumor hypoxia, HIF-1α expression, and CAIX expression were detected by immunohistochemistry. Metastatic status was assessed by examining external lymph nodes in the inguinal, axillary, interscapular, and submandibular regions and internal lymph nodes in the abdomen and mediastinum.

RESULTS:

Tissue regions staining positive for pimonidazole, HIF-1α, or CAIX were poorly colocalized, both in CK-160 and TS-415 tumors. The expression of HIF-1α or CAIX did not correlate with the fraction of hypoxic tissue in any of the two tumor lines. Furthermore, clinically relevant associations between HIF-1α or CAIX expression and lymph node metastasis were not found.

CONCLUSION:

Because significant associations between HIF-1α expression, CAIX expression, fraction of hypoxic tissue, and incidence of lymph node metastases could not be detected in any of two preclinical models of human cervical cancer, it is not realistic to believe that high expression of HIF-1α or CAIX can be useful biomarkers of tumor hypoxia and poor outcome in a highly heterogeneous disease like cervical carcinoma.

PMID:
26502718
PMCID:
PMC4623261
DOI:
10.1186/s12885-015-1828-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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