Topoisomerase IIα in serous ovarian carcinoma: relationship with c-erbB-2 and FIGO stage.

H Brustmann, MD, PhD, S Naude, MD

Landeskrankenhaus,Department of Pathology, Moedling/Vienna, Austria

AIM: Topoisomerase IIα (TP IIα) is an enzyme that plays an important role in the proliferative activity of many tumors. The oncogene c-erbB-2 is overexpressed in various human tumors. This study evaluated their relation in serous ovarian carcinomas. METHODS: Formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded archival tissue from 41 serous ovarian carcinomas was immunostained with a mouse anti-human antibody to TP IIα (DAKO) and an antibody to c-erbB-2 (DAKO) utilizing the LSAB kit, alkaline phosphatase (DAKO). Immunostaining for TP IIα was quantitated by counting the immunoreactive nuclei in 1000 tumor cells per case at a magnification of x400 and calculating the percentage to express the appropriate labeling index (LI). C-erbB-2 reactivity was considered positive for distinct membrane staining. RESULTS: TP IIα LIs were increased significantly between the groups of negative (mean, 43,8; range, 30,5 to 57,5; standard error of the mean [SEM], 14,31) and positive (mean, 49,5; range, 34,3 to 60,1; SEM, 18,75) c-erbB-2 immunoreactivity (Mann Whitney test, P=0,0231). TP IIα LIs rose from FIGO stage I (N=17) via FIGO stage II (N=12) to FIGO stage III (N=12). These differences were significant (Kruskal-Wallis test, P=0,0097). Positive c-erbB-2 immunoreactivity was significantly increased in the group of FIGO III compared with the groups of FIGO I and II (Fisher´s exact test, P=0,0339). CONCLUSIONS: TP IIα and c-erbB-2 expression as determined by immunohistochemistry are related in serous ovarian carcinomas. Both factors are significantly overexpressed in high FIGO stage.

KEY WORDS: c-erbB-2 topoisomerase II&alpha, ovary.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Diagnostic Markers.