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Engelstaedter, Verena; Heublein, Sabine; Schumacher, Anamur Lan; Lenhard, Miriam; Engelstaedter, Helen; Andergassen, Ulrich; Guenthner-Biller, Margit; Kuhn, Christina; Rack, Brigitte; Kupka, Markus; Mayr, Doris; Jeschke, Udo: Mucin-1 and its relation to grade, stage and survival in ovarian carcinoma patients. In: BMC Cancer 2012, 12:600




Background: Mucin-1 is known to be over-expressed by various human carcinomas and is shed into the circulation where it can be detected in patient's serum by specific anti-Mucin-1 antibodies, such as the tumour marker assays CA 15-3 and CA 27.29. The prognostic value of Mucin-1 expression in ovarian carcinoma remains uncertain. One aim of this study was to compare the concentrations of Mucin-1 in a cohort of patients with either benign or malignant ovarian tumours detected by CA 15-3 and CA 27.29. Another aim of this study was to evaluate Mucin-1 expression by immunohistochemistry in a different cohort of ovarian carcinoma patients with respect to grade, stage and survival. Methods: Patients diagnosed with and treated for ovarian tumours were included in the study. Patient characteristics, histology including histological subtype, tumour stage, grading and follow-up data were available from patient records. Serum Mucin-1 concentrations were measured with ELISA technology detecting CA 15-3 and CA 27.29, Mucin-1 tissue expression was determined by immunohistochemistry using the VU4H5 and VU3C6 anti-Mucin-1 antibodies. Statistical analysis was performed by using SPSS 18.0. Results: Serum samples of 118 patients with ovarian tumours were obtained to determine levels of Mucin-1. Median CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 concentrations were significantly higher in patients with malignant disease (p < 0.001) than in patients with benign disease. Paraffin-embedded tissue of 154 patients with ovarian carcinoma was available to determine Mucin-1 expression. The majority of patients presented with advanced stage disease at primary diagnosis. Median follow-up time was 11.39 years. Immunohistochemistry results for VU4H5 showed significant differences with respect to tumour grade, FIGO stage and overall survival. Patients with negative expression had a mean overall survival of 9.33 years compared to 6.27 years for patients with positive Mucin-1 expression. Conclusions: This study found significantly elevated Mucin-1 serum concentrations in ovarian carcinoma patients as compared to those women suffering from benign ovarian diseases. However, it needs to be noted that Mucin-1 concentrations in carcinoma patients showed a rather high variability. Results from immunohistochemistry indicate that Mucin-1 has a prognostic relevance in ovarian carcinomas when evaluating the expression by VU4H5 antibody.