Interferon-gamma expression is an independent prognostic factor in ovarian cancer

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Nov;191(5):1598-605. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2004.05.007.


Background: Epithelial ovarian cancer prognosis is improved by the presence of intratumoral CD3 + T cells, which are known to produce interferon-gamma. We therefore speculated that interferon-gamma expression in ovarian cancer-infiltrating T-lymphocytes might cause better prognosis.

Patients and methods: Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was performed to measure the expression of interferon-gamma and other related genes in normal ovaries (n = 19) and in ovarian cancer specimens (n = 99). Median follow-up of patients was 5.8 years.

Results: Interferon-gamma and CD-3 expression did not significantly differ in normal and malignant tissue. Patients with high levels of interferon-gamma expression had significantly longer progression-free and overall survival. Median time to progression was 10 and 29 months for patients with low and high interferon-gamma expression, respectively ( P = .039). Corresponding survival times were 29 and 44 months ( P < .032). Application of multivariate Cox regression analysis showed interferon-gamma expression to be an independent prognostic factor for progression-free and overall survival.

Conclusion: Elevated interferon-gamma expression correlates with improved clinical outcome in patients with ovarian cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA Primers
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Survival Analysis


  • DNA Primers
  • Interferon-gamma