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Cancer. 1994 Oct 15;74(8):2314-20.

Expression of cytokeratin 10, 13, and involucrin as prognostic factors in low stage squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ignatius Hospital, Breda, The Netherlands.



The identification of pretreatment markers with predictive significance for the presence of lymph node metastases and treatment outcome in low stage cancer of the uterine cervix is clinically important. Because the presence of differentiation-related markers varies in this type of cancer, the authors investigated whether loss of these markers is related to a poor clinical course.


An indirect immunoperoxidase technique was applied to formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissue sections of 80 patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Stage IB and IIA primary squamous cell cervical carcinomas for detection of expression of cytokeratin 10 and 13, and involucrin. Comparisons were made of the expression of each of these markers among 40 patients with regional node metastases and 40 age-matched patients with no lymph node metastases. Differences in the frequency of expression of these markers also were analyzed in relation to histopathologic characteristics, recurrence, and survival.


Expression of cytokeratin 10, 13, and involucrin was found in 24, 64, and 53%, respectively, of all patients studied. The authors found no differences between patients with positive regional lymph nodes and those with negative lymph nodes. Expression of cytokeratin 13 and involucrin was associated with tumor grade (P = 0.01). No relationship was found between expression of the markers used and recurrence or survival in the entire group. Within the lymph node-positive group, however, the survival rate of patients with tumors with cytokeratin 13 expression was significantly higher than that of patients with tumors lacking cytokeratin 13 expression (P = 0.02).


Expression of cytokeratin 10, 13, or involucrin in the primary tumor is of no predictive value with respect to the presence of regional lymph node metastases in low stage squamous cell cervical cancer. However, cytokeratin 13 expression appears to be of prognostic significance in patients with positive regional lymph nodes.

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