The CD44 receptor is a molecular predictor of survival in ovarian cancer

Med Oncol. 2003;20(3):255-63. doi: 10.1385/MO:20:3:255.


Purpose: CD44 is a cell surface receptor implicated in cancer progression and metastases. Malignant tumors may show a loss of CD44 splice control mechanisms. We investigated the role of CD44 splice variant expression in ovarian tumors and metastases, and its association with survival.

Experimental design: We tested CD44 expression in 142 cases of epithelial carcinoma of the ovary and 265 metastatic sites by immunohistochemistry.

Results: Survival analysis showed that the expression of CD44s, CD44-v4, -v5, -v6, -v9, and -v10 are significant predictors for survival in univariate analysis. After stage, the expression of CD44-v10 in metastases was the strongest predictor of decreased survival in multivariate analysis (p = 0.0009). Conversely, CD44-v10 expression in the primary tumor was an independent predictor of improved survival in multivariate analysis (p = 0.0002). The expression of CD44s in the tumor/stroma interface of the primary tumor was associated with improved survival (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: CD44 variant expression is a molecular prognostic maker for epithelial ovarian carcinomas. CD44-v10 expression is an independent prognostic indicator and the site of expression determines a positive or negative influence in survival. Our results also indicate that CD44 may be involved in important tumor/stroma interactions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid / pathology
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / metabolism
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / mortality
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Neoplasm Proteins