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.