Angiogenesis and molecular markers in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: A retrospective study

Annamaria Ferrero, Daniela Dompè, Nicoletta Ravarino, Angela Ramella, Luca Fuso, Furio Maggiorotto, Elisa Tripodi, Paolo Zola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The role of molecular markers in ovarian cancer is still a matter of debate. Angiogenesis is a necessary condition for tumor growth. Hypoxia induces angiogenesis, and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), p53 and HER2 are involved in cancer proliferation and angiogenesis regulation. The aims of this study were to evaluate the relationship between intratumoral microvessel density (IMD) and the expression of molecular markers that affect angiogenesis (COX-2, p53 and HER2) in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), to analyze their prognostic and predictive value and their association with clinicopathological features, such as serum hemoglobin level at diagnosis (Hb). Methods: Immunohistochemical staining with CD34 (for IMD), COX-2, p53 and HER2 antibodies was performed in 113 patients with advanced EOC who had undergone primary surgery. Clinicopathological data were collected and statistical analyses were performed. Results: Neither IMD, COX-2 nor HER2 had any predictive or prognostic value in EOC. A relationship that approached statistical significance was found between p53 expression and a complete response to treatment (p = 0.05). p53 expression and tumor grade were inversely associated (p = 0.012). Hb <12 g/dl had predictive value (p = 0.02). Conclusions: In our series IMD, COX-2 and HER2 had neither prognostic nor predictive value in advanced EOC. p53 and Hb may be predictive factors. The results and clinical usefulness of immunohistochemistry are controversial. Further evaluations are required to determine whether the serum levels of molecular markers correlate with the results of immunohistochemical assays and whether they offer any prognostic and/or predictive value. Targeted therapy remains the ultimate goal of these studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Angiogenesis
  • Epitelian ovarian cancer
  • Molecular markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology


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