Background: Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 is a new class of tumor suppressor in a dosage dependent manner to control cell cycle progression. Human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) is a potentially useful biomarker for ovarian carcinoma, comparable with cancer antigen 125 in identifying women with ovarian cancer, both localized and advanced. However, the prognostic significance of p27Kip1 and HE4 in ovarian cancer is unclear.
Objective: Investigate the expression of p27Kip1 and HE4 in the progression of human ovarian cancer.
Material and method: Immunohistochemical analysis was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin sections of 61 specimens. The association between HE4 and p27Kip1expression and clinicopathological features was analyzed using χ2-test. For analysis of survival data, Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed, and the log-rank test was performed.
Results: The expression of p27Kip1 negatively related with HE4 expression, but it correlated significantly with lymph nodes. On the other hand, HE4 expression correlated significantly with disease stage and lymph nodes. Kaplan-Meier analysis of the survival curves of p27Kip1 and HE4 revealed a highly significant separation between low vs. high expressers in ovarian carcinoma.
Conclusion: Expression of HE4 was up-regulated significantly in human ovarian carcinoma. Overexpression of HE4 might be responsible for oncogenesis and development of ovarian carcinoma. HE4 and p27Kip1 may be of prognostic significance in human ovarian cancer.