Purpose: Currently available clinicopathologic prognostic factors are imperfect predictors of clinical course in advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer patients. New molecular predictors are needed to identify patients with higher risk of relapse or death from disease. In a retrospective study, we investigated the prognostic impact of activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM) expression in epithelial ovarian cancer. Experimental Design: We analyzed the effect of cell-anchorage loss on ALCAM cellular localization in vitro and assessed ALCAM expression by immunohistochemistry in a series of 109 well-characterized epithelial ovarian cancer patient samples. Chi-square test, Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox proportional hazard analyses were used to relate ALCAM cellular localization to clinical-pathologic parameters and to overall survival (OS) rate. Results: Loss of epithelial ovarian cancer cell anchoragewas associated both in vitro and in vivo with decreased ALCAM membrane expression. In vivo, ALCAM was localized to cell membrane in normal surface ovarian epithelium, whereas in 67% of the epithelial ovarian cancer samples, membrane localization was decreased or even lost, and the molecule was mainly expressed in cytoplasm. Median OS in this group of patients was 58 months, whereas a median OS was not yet reached in patients with ALCAM membrane localization (P = 0.036, hazard ratio [HR] = 2.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1 to 3.5). In a multivariate Cox regression model including all the available clinicopathologic variables, loss of ALCAM membrane expression was an independent factor of unfavorable prognosis (P = 0.042, HR = 2.15, 95% CI: 1.0 to 4.5). Conclusions: Decreased/lost ALCAM membrane expression is a marker of poorer outcome in epithelial ovarian cancer patients and might help to identify patients who could benefit from more frequent follow-up or alternative therapeutic modalities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research