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Open access

Nina Fokter Dovnik and Iztok Takac

Abstract

Background

The association of HER2 status with urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) levels raises the question whether uPA/PAI-1 level carries additional clinically relevant prognostic information independently from HER2 status. The aim of our study was to compare the prognostic value of uPA/PAI-1 level, HER2 status, and traditional prognostic factors for survival in node-negative breast cancer patients.

Patients and methods

A retrospective analysis of 858 node-negative breast cancer patients treated in Maribor University Clinical Center, Slovenia, in the years 2000–2009 was performed. Data were obtained from patient medical records. The median follow-up time was 100 months. Univariate and multivariate analyses of disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were performed using the Cox regression and the Cox proportional hazards model.

Results

In univariate analysis, age, tumor size, grade, lymphovascular invasion, HER2 status and UPA/PAI-1 level were associated with DFS, and age, tumor size, grade, and uPA/PAI-1 level were associated with OS. In the multivariate model, the most important determinants of DFS were age, estrogen receptor status and uPA/PAI-1 level, and the most important factors for OS were patient age and tumor grade. The HR for death from any cause in the multivariate model was 1.98 (95% CI 0.83–4.76) for patients with high uPA and/or PAI-1 compared to patients with both values low.

Conclusions

uPA/PAI-1 level clearly carries an independent prognostic value regardless of HER2 status in node-negative breast cancer and could be used in addition to HER2 and other markers to guide clinical decisions in this setting.

Open access

Anita Fekonja, Andrej Cretnik, Danijel Zerdoner and Iztok Takac

Abstract

Background. Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed in an advanced stage and the present clinical and diagnostic molecular markers for early OC screening are insufficient. The aim of this study was to identify potential relationship between the hypodontia and epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).

Patients and methods. A retrospective study was conducted on 120 patients with EOC treated at the Department of Gynaecologic and Breast Oncology at the University Clinical Centre and 120 gynaecological healthy women (control group) of the same mean age. Women in both groups were reviewed for the presence of hypodontia and the patients with EOC also for clinicopathological characteristics of EOC according to hypodontia phenotype.

Results. Hypodontia was diagnosed in 23 (19.2%) of patients with EOC and 8 (6.7%) controls (p = 0.004; odds ratio [OR] = 3.32; confidence interval [CI], 1.42-7.76). There was no statistically significant difference in patients with EOC with or without hypodontia regarding histological subtype (p = 0.220); they differed in regard to FIGO stage (p = 0.014; OR =3.26; CI, 1.23-8.64) and tumour differentiation grade (p = 0.042; OR = 3.1; CI, 1.01-9.53). Also, bilateral occurrence of EOC was more common than unilateral occurrence in women with hypodontia (p = 0.021; OR = 2.9; CI, 1.15-7.36). We also found statistically significant difference between the ovarian cancer group and control group in presence of other malignant tumours in subjects (p < 0.001).

Conclusions. The results of the study suggest a statistical association between EOC and hypodontia phenotype. Hypodontia might serve as a risk factor for EOC detection.

Open access

Andraz Dovnik, Bojana Crnobrnja, Branka Zegura, Iztok Takac and Maja Pakiz

Abstract

Background

The aim of the study was to compare the frequency of positive peritoneal washings in endometrial cancer patients after either hysteroscopy (HSC) or dilatation and curettage (D&C).

Patients and methods

We performed a retrospective analysis of 227 patients who underwent either HSC (N = 144) or D&C (N = 83) and were diagnosed with endometrial carcinoma at the University Medical Centre Maribor between January 2008 and December 2014. The incidence of positive peritoneal cytology was evaluated in each group.

Results

There was no overall difference in the incidence of positive peritoneal washings after HSC or D&C (HSC = 13.2%; D&C = 12.0%; p = 0.803). However, a detailed analysis of stage I disease revealed significantly higher rates of positive peritoneal washings in the HSC group (HSC = 12.8%; D&C = 3.4%; p = 0.046). Among these patients, there was no difference between both groups considering histologic type (chi-square = 0.059; p = 0.807), tumour differentiation (chi-square = 3.709; p = 0.156), the time between diagnosis and operation (t = 0.930; p = 0.357), and myometrial invasion (chi-square = 5.073; p = 0.079).

Conclusions

Although the diagnostic procedure did not influence the overall incidence of positive peritoneal washings, HSC was associated with a significantly higher rate of positive peritoneal cytology in stage I endometrial carcinoma compared to D&C.

Open access

Nina Fokter Dovnik, Darja Arko, Nina Čas Sikošek and Iztok Takač

Abstract

Introduction

Breast cancer is increasingly diagnosed in the early stages without regional nodal involvement. The aim of the present study was to determine the 5-year overall (OS) and breast cancer specific survival (BCSS) for patients with node-negative breast cancer treated at the University Medical Centre Maribor, and compare it with survival at the national level.

Methods

Medical records were searched for information on patients with lymph node-negative invasive breast cancer who received primary treatment at the University Medical Centre Maribor in the period 2000–2009. Information on all Slovenian node-negative breast cancer patients diagnosed in the same period was obtained from the Cancer Registry of Republic of Slovenia. Time trends in survival were assessed by comparing the periods 2000–2004 and 2005–2009.

Results

The 5-year OS and BCSS of patients treated in Maribor in the period 2000–2009 were 92.3% (95% CI, 90.5%– 94.1%) and 96.4% (95% CI, 95.2%–97.6%), respectively, and did not differ from the corresponding OS and BCSS for Slovenian patients. Although the improvement in OS for patients from Maribor diagnosed in the period 2005–2009 compared to 2000–2004 did not reach statistical significance (HR 0.73; 95% CI, 0.51–1.05; p=0.086), BCSS significantly improved over the same time periods (HR 0.53; 95% CI, 0.30–0.94; p=0.028).

Conclusions

Survival of node-negative breast cancer patients treated at the University Medical Centre Maribor is comparable to survival of corresponding patients at the national level. The rising number of long-term breast cancer survivors places additional importance on survivorship care.

Open access

Maja Lampelj, Darja Arko, Nina Cas-Sikosek, Rajko Kavalar, Maja Ravnik, Barbara Jezersek-Novakovic, Sarah Dobnik, Nina Fokter Dovnik and Iztok Takac

Abstract

Background. Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) play a key role in tumour invasion and metastasis. High levels of both proteolytic enzymes are associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between traditional prognostic factors and uPA and PAI-1 expression in primary tumour of breast cancer patients.

Patients and methods. 606 primary breast cancer patients were enrolled in the prospective study in the Department of gynaecological oncology and breast oncology at the University Medical Centre Maribor between the years 2004 and 2010. We evaluated the traditional prognostic factors (age, menopausal status, tumour size, pathohistological type, histologic grade, lymph node status, lymphovascular invasion and hormone receptor status), together with uPA and PAI-1. We used Spearman’s rank correlation, Mann Whitney U test and χ2 test for statistical analysis.

Results. Our findings indicate a positive correlation between uPA and tumour size (p < 0.001), grade (p < 0.001), histological type (p < 0.001), lymphovascular invasion (p = 0.01) and a negative correlation between uPA and hormone receptor status (p < 0.001). They also indicate a positive correlation between PAI-1 and tumour size (p = 0.004), grade (p < 0.001), pathohistological type (p < 0.001) and negative correlation between PAI-1 and hormone receptor status (p = 0.002).

Conclusions. Our study showed a relationship between uPA and PAI-1 and traditional prognostic factors. Their role as prognostic and predictive factors remains to be further evaluated.

Open access

Urska Ivanus, Tine Jerman, Alenka Repse Fokter, Iztok Takac, Veronika Kloboves Prevodnik, Mateja Marcec, Ursula Salobir Gajsek, Maja Pakiz, Jakob Koren, Simona Hutter Celik, Kristina Gornik Kramberger, Ulrika Klopcic, Rajko Kavalar, Simona Sramek Zatler, Biljana Grcar Kuzmanov, Mojca Florjancic, Natasa Nolde, Srdjan Novakovic, Mario Poljak and Maja Primic Zakelj

Abstract

Background

To overcome obstacles within the Slovenian organised cervical cancer screening programme, a randomised pilot study of human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling among non-attenders was performed, aiming to assess three different screening approaches.

Participants and methods

Non-attenders aged 30–64 years from two Slovenian regions were randomised to two HPV self-sampling groups–the opt-in (I1, n = 14.400) and the opt-out (I2, n = 9.556), with a control group (P, n = 2.600). Self-collected samples were analysed using the Hybrid Capture 2 assay. HPV-positive women were invited to a colposcopy. The overall and type-specific intention-to-screen response rates and histological outcomes with a positive predictive value (PPV) according to the women’s age, the screening approach, the level of protection resulting from previous screening history, and the region of residence were assessed.

Results

Of the 26.556 women enrolled, 8.972 (33.8%) responded with self-sample for HPV testing and/or traditional cytology within one year of enrolment. Response rates were 37.7%, 34.0% and 18.4% (p < 0.050) for opt-out, opt-in and control groups. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)2+ was diagnosed in 3.9/1.000, 3.4/1.000, and 3.1/1.000 women (p > 0.050), respectively. PPV of the HPV self-sampling was 12.0% and 9.6% for CIN2+ and CIN3+. The highest PPV was obtained in non-attenders in screening programme for more than 10-years and concordant results of HPV testing with 40.8% for CIN2+ and 38.8% for CIN3+.

Conclusions

The results of our study show that a high response to HPV self-sampling can be achieved also in an opt-in approach, if women are encouraged to choose between self-sampling at home and screening with gynaecologist. In addition, clinically important risk difference for a high-grade cervical lesion exists in the case of a positive result of HPV testing on self-collected samples, depending on the length of the interval since last screening. Stratified management of these women should be strongly considered. Women who were not screened with cytology for at least 10 years should be referred to immediate colposcopy for histology verification instead to delayed re-testing.