Computational and immunohistochemical analyses highlight axl as a potential prognostic marker for ovarian cancer patients

Ludmila Lozneanu, Patrizia Pinciroli, Delia Apostol Ciobanu, Maria Luisa Carcangiu, Silvana Canevari, Antonella Tomassetti, Irina Draga Cruntu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aim: The activation of the membrane tyrosine kinase AXL is implicated in the migration and invasion in several carcinomas, including ovarian cancer. Herein, we investigated the association of the expression of AXL transcript and protein to the aggressiveness of ovarian cancer, as well as to patient outcome. Materials and Methods: Overall and relapse-free survival were determined with respect to AXL transcript levels by computational analysis on two publicly available datasets containing data of gene expression from high-grade ovarian cancers (n=776). Immunohistochemical evaluation of AXL protein expression was then performed using a proprietary tissue microarray consisting of 62 ovarian cancers of different histology, grading and staging. Expression was analyzed for association with clinicopathological parameters, including survival. Results: In both analyzed datasets, AXL transcript expression was significantly associated to both overall and relapse-free survival in high-grade ovarian cancers. Membrane expression of AXL protein was observed in 89% of the analyzed ovarian cancers. A significant correlation was found between AXL expression and serous histologic subtype, higher tumor grade and type II tumors. No significant association between AXL protein expression and patient survival was found in our cohort. AXL is frequently expressed in high-grade serous ovarian cancers and its expression is significantly associated to tumors displaying poor prognosis. Conclusion: AXL is a potential prognostic marker for the most aggressive ovarian carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4155-4163
Number of pages9
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • AXL
  • Gene expression
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ovarian carcinoma
  • Prognostic marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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