Fatty acid synthase is a marker of increased risk of recurrence in endometrial carcinoma

Gynecol Oncol. 2004 Jan;92(1):101-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2003.10.027.


Purpose: To explore the expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS) and human erythrocyte glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) in endometrial carcinomas and to detect associations with clinicopathological features and prognosis. FAS and GLUT1 are two molecules involved in energy supply of normal cells. These markers are overexpressed in neoplastic tissues because of their increased necessity of energy.

Methods: Ninety-five patients with endometrial carcinoma were followed-up for an average period of 5 years. FAS and GLUT1 expressions were evaluated by immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. Staining was determined with a semiquantitative method. Negative controls were obtained from patients submitted to hysterectomy for uterine prolapse.

Results: Eighty-five cases were endometrioid, 7 were serous, and 1 was a mucinous carcinoma. Seventy-two cases (75%) were stage I, 12 (13%) were stage II, and 11 (12%) were stage III carcinomas. Sixteen (15%) carcinomas recurred. Nine patients (8%) died for cancer during the follow-up period. FAS expression was observed in 53 cases (56%). GLUT1 expression was observed in 32 (43%) cases. Statistical analysis revealed that FAS (P = 0.04) and stage (P = 0.001) of the disease were the only two independent predictors of recurrence. GLUT1 and other clinicopathologic parameters had no prognostic association.

Conclusions: FAS is a reliable marker of clinically aggressive endometrial carcinomas. The knowledge of FAS expression in endometrial carcinomas is an important finding that may stratify patients into selected groups and determine therapeutic approaches for patient care.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / surgery
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / enzymology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Glucose Transporter Type 1
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • SLC2A1 protein, human
  • Fatty Acid Synthases