Assessment of inhibin and p53 in granulosa cell tumors of the ovary

Gynecol Oncol. 2000 May;77(2):232-6. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2000.5774.


Objective: The goal of this work was to determine the cellular content of inhibin and p53 in granulosa cell tumors (GCTs).

Methods: Clinical records of 47 patients (mean age, 54 years; range, 20-85 years) presenting with GCT surgically managed at our institution were abstracted. International Federation of Gynecology stage I was assigned in 39 patients, stage II in 2, and stage III in 6. Concomitant endometrial carcinoma was identified in 6 patients. Mean follow-up was 13.6 years (range, 1 day to 37.6 years). Sections from paraffin-embedded tissue blocks were analyzed immunohistochemically for expression of tissue inhibin and p53 levels. Inhibin expression was graded by intensity and reactivity, and p53, by its presence or absence.

Results: The tumors of 27 patients (57%) stained strongly for inhibin intensity and showed >60% reactivity. Decreased intensity and reactivity of inhibin expression were associated with advanced-stage disease (P = 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively, by Fisher exact test). Expression of p53 was detected in tumors from 27 patients (57%), and immunoreactivity was associated with compromised progression-free survival (P = 0.016, log-rank test). However, the association between p53 immunoreactivity and disease stage was not significant. Absence of p53 expression was significantly associated with concurrent endometrial carcinoma (P = 0.022), suggesting more molecularly intact tumors that retain functional activity.

Conclusions: Although the majority of GCTs show strong expression of inhibin with regard to intensity and reactivity, weak expression is associated with advanced disease but not with decreased progression-free survival. By contrast, expression of p53 is not significantly associated with stage, but increased expression is associated with decreased disease-free survival. Absence of p53 expression appears to be associated with concurrent endometrial carcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / genetics*
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inhibins / analysis*
  • Inhibins / biosynthesis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Inhibins