Background: Cyclins, cyclin dependent kinases (cdks), and their inhibitors act in combination to regulate progression through the cell cycle and often are dysregulated in carcinoma. The authors hypothesized that cyclin E plays an important role in ovarian carcinogenesis and that its overexpression may be an indicator of a poor prognosis.
Methods: Immunohistochemical analysis of cyclin E expression was performed by image analysis in normal ovaries, cystadenomas, tumors of low malignant potential, and 405 primary ovarian carcinomas by using tissue microarray technology.
Results: Overexpression of cyclin E was found in 63.2% of the samples and was associated with clear cell, poorly differentiated, and serous carcinoma (P < or = .001), high-grade tumors (P < or = .001), late-stage disease (P = .002), age older than 60 years at the time of diagnosis (P = .04), and suboptimal cytoreduction (P = .001). A high percentage of cyclin E-expressing cells was associated with a poor outcome in univariate and in multivariate analyses. In addition, cyclin E levels also reduced survival in the late-stage disease group and in patients who underwent suboptimal debulking.
Conclusions: Cyclin E was identified as an independent prognostic factor in patients with ovarian carcinoma. The accumulation of cyclin E protein may be a late event in tumorigenesis and may contribute to disease progression in these patients.