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.
- vulvar cancer
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Competing interests: None declared.
Funding: Supported in part by grants from the Norwegian Cancer Society.