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Expression of EphA2 and EphrinA-1 in vulvar carcinomas and its relation to prognosis
  1. R Holm1,
  2. S Knopp1,
  3. Z Suo1,
  4. C Tropè1,2,
  5. J M Nesland1
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Medical Center, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Medical Center, Oslo, Norway
  1. Dr Ruth Holm, Department of Pathology, Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Medical Center, Montebello, 0310 Oslo, Norway; ruth.holm{at}radiumhospitalet.no

Abstract

Aims: To examine the expression of EphA2 and EphrinA-1 in vulvar squamous cell carcinomas and investigate their prognostic relevance.

Methods: Tumours from 224 patients with vulvar squamous cell carcinomas were investigated for expression of EphA2 and EphrinA-1 using single and double immunostaining methods.

Results: High expression (strong/moderate staining intensity) of EphA2 and EphrinA-1 was observed in 114 (51%) and 126 (56%) vulvar carcinomas, respectively. In the three cases tested using the double immunostaining method, colocalisation of EphA2 and EphrinA-1 proteins was identified in the same neoplastic cells. High EphA2 expression was significantly correlated to high expression of EphrinA-1 (p<0.01) and cyclin A (p<0.01), large tumour size (p = 0.03), deep invasion (p<0.01) and higher FIGO stage (p = 0.05). A correlation between high EphrinA-1 expression and high levels of cyclin A (p<0.01) and p21 (p<0.01), deep invasion (p<0.01) and higher FIGO stage (p = 0.01) was also seen. In univariate analysis, high expression of EphrinA-1 was associated with poor survival (p = 0.03). However, in the multivariate analysis neither EphrinA-1 nor EphA2 were significantly correlated to survival.

Conclusions: EphA2 and EphrinA-1 were overexpressed in 51% and 56% of the vulvar squamous cell carcinomas, respectively, and high levels of EphA2 and EphrinA-1 proteins were associated with deep tumour invasion and high FIGO stage. However, EphA2 and EphrinA-1 were not independently associated with clinical outcome in vulvar carcinomas.

  • immunohistochemistry
  • vulvar cancer
  • EphA2
  • EphrinA-1

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Funding: Supported in part by grants from the Norwegian Cancer Society.

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